Love in the Sprawl
Even on weekends, clots form congesting the arteries of Los Angeles. Hoards packed in cans alone wait for a stranger’s rescue across the guardrail. We struggle to make use of hours lost here with theories about Adnan and mold our lives to fit the traffic schedule that connects our work, home and loved ones. Despite endless midnight efforts to carve mountains and shoehorn more lanes into the daily commute, the swarm increases at an impossible rate. Our friends land daily in crowded jets delayed by gate checks or a Prius pregnant with dorm furniture who’s windows dare not drop for fear of losing the infamous Epson since dried. I’ve foolishly dreamt of vacant apartment buildings but still they come. We stay too, long outlasting our invitation; mule-like we keep the dream alive despite ourselves.
Amidst this cluttered juggle of lives constantly crossing we seek love. A chance encounter at the Edison develops into something worth a status change. Her invitation to a friends bonfire acquaints him with the 710 and after hours parking near downtown Long Beach. For whatever reason it doesn’t work out. Since no Saturday goes by without its accompanied celebration, farmers market or sports championship, a joyous occasion can often be marred by logistics. A party on the beach inspires a decision between $40 parking or a two mile trek leaving behind a car soon to be accosted by meter maids. After an hour of zigzagging past lot full signs she starts to question her whole relationship with him and what length she’ll go to celebrate. She’s not wrong to wonder what kind would subject his mate to these frustrations. For the virgin LA driver it sounds so superficial but this might be the breaking point for a 405 adjacent girl seeking a mid city guy in between cars.
So how does one reconcile the passion behind an impulsive nocturnal rendezvous with the inevitable DUI checkpoint and multiple construction stops along the way? The trials of a relationship are numerous without adding distance to the stew. It goes against traditional expectation of a long distance arrangement when two people can be so physically close but a flight to Vegas would be quicker. When creeping resentment stems from repeated traffic crawls only to end with Netflix and Dominos it can be difficult to distance the city from the soul-mate. Perhaps restraint when cupid’s stray arrow reaches over the hill, joined with a counter-cultural effort to walk more might lessen the aforementioned woes. A healthy dose of patience, faith and hope is necessary for any love to last because inevitably the smoke gets in your eyes and no throng of tail lights can threaten the greatest of these.