I just returned from a weekend in SoCal. It took ’till we got past Phoenix until my eyes stopped burning from the LA smog.
I grew up in the suburb of Thousand Oaks. It used to be kind of quaint. Now it’s like the San Fernando valley but with ample parking (for now). I have lost touch with SoCal. I don’t understand it anymore. Why would anyone want to live there? It’s so smoggy, full of traffic, dusty and spread out. Upon driving in, I was amazed how the urban sprawl now starts just past Palm Springs which is about 120 miles from LA. 120 miles of sprawl!! One Liz Claiborne outlet blended into another. Were we in Azusa or Van Nuys? The two-lane highway turned into a multi-lane freeway and the BMW’s began to outnumber every other car with the exception of the occasional Hummer (Asshole! How could you drive that thing?) No matter how fast you are driving, people are either flying past you or riding your tailgate while chattering away on the phone.
You never see people walking.
My trips to LA are necessary. Mother is having surgery and I need to go see her. Ray’s mother is in her 90’s and not getting any younger so he goes to see her as well. This is a difficult time for me and my siblings. It’s the classic role reversal. We are concerned about our mother and want to take care of her. She insists that she doesn’t need help and that she’s not ready for this kind of care. I don’t want to go into detail but I’m sure anyone reading this who has been through it knows what I’m talking about.
The whole weekend was stressful and to make things worse, I blew off meeting up with an aquaintance in Hollywood on Saturday night. At first I felt really bad about it and later after admitting how much of an ass I was, I tried to explain the circumstances and apologised profusely. But then he kept going on and on about my bad form and bad karma and how I had issues. It was total overkill. I quickly returned to planet Earth and realized that I was dealing with your typical Hollywood all-about-me actor type. How could I have forgotten?
Ray and I got up early to drive the 8 1/2 hour trip so we could get home at a reasonable hour. Fortunately for us, Arizona was having one of its fantastic sunsets to remind us why we love it here. My old friends in Lost Angeles can tease me all they want. When I get back to Stolen Horseshoe, I know I’m finally home.