LA is a hard city. in so many ways.
all the adages – it will chew you up and spit you out – I think covers most of the feelings summed up in the menagerie of phrases.
it’s definitely not a place for anyone scared of being alone.
i forget who told me, when i got here, that you’re not really settled in LA until 3 bad things happen to you. car gets stolen, heart gets broken, get too drunk and lose your wallet and end up naked in a police station, get hit by a car. these are all rites of passage for some.
i’m developing my own theory:
i’m just one of those people that feels like i don’t know myself. really, i just feel like a late bloomer. like 10 years too late. like i didn’t really take myself seriously until now. like i wasn’t ever going to end up old.
my theory comes from the grind.
some people get away with the 3 bad things. they’re the lucky ones. you’ll be ok. go listen to LANY.
but some people get the grinding wheel. LA is filled with millions of short pencils. i see them every single day. walking in slow motion. people who just can’t put themselves out there anymore cause they just can’t risk sparking up against that metal eraser.
those are my people. that put pencil to paper. over and over. left marks.
i could save a thousand of these people by helping them make better decisions cause i don’t have a mental stake in them, i’m a natural pragmatist – but i can’t tell you how many times i’ve stared down onbearing freight train headlights and insisted that they were shooting stars coming for me. do you feel that? (honestly, i’m really trying to work on that. i’m trying to work in ways that use that strength. it’s a project of mine now. i’m trying to catch up)
If you’ve read this far, which is a whole other silly notion to me, and you’re expecting this to come full circle – you can stop reading. I’m a long winded person. By time i make my point on this, you will long have forgotten the path i set you down – but – ok, that, those sort of people, aren’t really the ones i’m expecting to connect with. we’re just never going to live in the same world. i’m looking for short pencils.
and so now i’ll remind you of the genesis point: LA is a very hard city. people do not survive it. every day people flunk out. die. get rolled up on by the sprawl. get worn away to that weird city dust you find on your windshield every morning when you park on the street. she’s got a pretty substantial unbeaten streak.
I started writing like this, these thoughts, i don’t know why, really. when i was in high school i read the incredibly open, and honest, blog of another artist – poet maybe even. one that went onto a success in things that i could only evergreen-envy at this point. i guess i thought that my approach to connecting with people artistically wasn’t working. maybe even connecting in general. but i’m that sort of person. always outwardly comfortable. always dying inside. wishing i was somewhere i never actually am, or that i was someone that i never actually will be. it’s disingenuous and I had to buy into the art if it’s going to be authentic. right? Bueller?
well – i mean to say that i’m trying to be more genuine – that is – inside out. be me. it’s not fucking easy.
sometimes it feels like a bad thing. or more a weird thing. unnatural. one of the worst feelings i’ve ever had came from this little incepted idea – “always happy to come see you doing what you love“.
it just hit me so hard. am i just doing this for me? in my head I call these sort of moments “Munch Moments” – the grinding wheel knicking the metal eraser. a rip in the personal human fabric. the existential scream.
and so we reach the tipping point in this diatribe, you’re either going to get that feeling, or you won’t. and it’s ok if you don’t – queue the precipice – i’m not looking for you. you’re not a short pencil yet. you still have a lot of marks to make and you need to go off scripting. it’s not our time yet.
so, LA you are a hard place. i’ve been having more of those nights – where I feel the metal eraser get knicked. my fingers are bleeding – left writing these cause one day i’m hoping someone will be frantic with memory, stuck in a bind, they’ll reach in their oddly smelly crayon box, through all their brand new, unsharpened, Ticonderoga #2s and in their desperation they will find my little nub of a pencil. hanging out underneath, with the shavings and replacement eraser tips. fell through the cracks in the ranks to the bottom. and my nub will help them write down, work through, and not forget, whatever it is they were in such a bind to remember – make their mark.
I could live with that.
so, whoever you are that has made it this far – I am yours, I am out here if you’re looking for me. I’ll be in LA, forever looking for other short pencils –