L.A. Fiery Evenings

The evening has a pinkish fiery glow to it as the clouds disappear into darkness. L.A., with its expansiveness, is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is the epitome of what I consider scifi megacity- thousands of people, living, breathing, sitting in their cars in a world of concrete and asphalt, the highways intertwining like some disordered rug tapestry that a large cat has just clawed.

“You live in Long Beach, not L.A.” she corrects me. I shrug my shoulders because it’s all the same gravy.

“The cool thing about L.A. is that you never actually arrive to any city; just a string of towns,” a friend explains as we drive to a dying record store in Korea town.

Now, I sit in a room, a room of my own, and I think of the Japanese master poets, of the many books I have read, and of the many more still to be done. Meanwhile, an old Indian man in a down jacket and sandals walks back and forth through the small courtyard that connects the apartment buildings that all face the tiny pool at the center.

L.A., you have felt foreign for so long yet now I call you home. I have made peace with what was left behind in D.C., city of politics and prose that was so good to me. The days of kayaking and rooftop laughter are behind me and new ones of beach bumming and taco scrumming lie ahead.

“That taco was a blow out,” another friend explains before we purchase burritos from the same place that caused him stomach problems.

We order too much dim sum, and one plate looks like tiny skin pillows with shrimp inside. Who sleeps on these? “These definitely won’t keep,” she says as she picks one up with her chop sticks and throws it in her mouth.

The bodies are always ripped here, and the cholos are real. A tattoo wraps around the neck of a man wearing a sweater at a gym and Rico Suave is a regular just like me: a fade, a mustache and a different color muscle shirt depending on the day.

The older woman with bangs tells me, “Adulting is hard. I didn’t actually feel mature until 55.”

That’s a good thing, I think, as I try to figure out if form 5689 is the same as 5678. We do need robots to at least do our taxes because not even Turbo Tax can save me from the IRS.

“Corporations are the monsters of our time. They are the cyclopean behemoths we have created,” I tell him as I lie next to him, like a ten year old at a sleep over club. He doesn’t respond either because he is so blown away at my statement or just asleep.

There are no ships, no gods that raise the waves; only our own gigantic enterprises that cough smoke into the sky. L.A., sometimes I see your snow-topped mountains and at others, it’s just a memory or a dream. I will become better acquainted with you, I promise. The stray cat licks its paws.