First Date with L.A.
|LA Theatre by Omar Barcena|
I’m getting ready to come see you. My legs are even remarkably more waxed now than usual. How I got to 41 and have never been to LA proper is a mystery but I’m coming. I’m coming to gitcha (yeah, just like Hendrix sang it, Baby).
So about that “proper” stuff. I uh…well, for years I’ve been listening to people talk about you. I always ask about your downtown. I can’t get a straight answer. Do you have one, or don’t you? I also hang a bit on things I hear- tonality to be specific. In other words, I’m not sure I spelled you the way you like putting periods after the letters in the greeting above. When I hear people talk about you what comes out is more a sort of West coast drawl—as if they’re saying Elle, Eh? You know where the “eh” is taken from the Canadian. Only it’s held out like a surfer desperate for a few more milliseconds on a wave.
What I do know, though is that you suffer from a bipolarity among both your current and past residents. I just can’t get the real story. Do you suck? Or are you awesome? There doesn’t seem to be any “in between” about opinions people have about you. I’m looking forward to seeing you myself. I’ve never really felt the need to flirt with cities before, but I guess I have to be honest. I’m looking to fall for you. Like, hard too. I mean, come on, 3, 9 or 16+ million people (depending on how you cut the geography) can’t be wrong about why they live in you, right? Right?!!
Keith Richards talks in his biography about how he doesn’t believe heaven and hell are different places. I’m paraphrasing: he writes that heaven is a place where all your loved ones go; hell is the same place only when you go there, you can’t talk to any of your deceased loved ones—they just walk right on by. Is he talking about you L.A.? Are you heaven or are you hell? I’m putting on my Sunday best and looking forward to our first date.
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Keith Richards photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.