Los Angeles, California Trying on a New Life

Just a quick one to say that this is the last night of my trip. Tomorrow I head to Seattle to settle down and try to start a new life.

A wise friend once told me your twenties are about starting your life over and over again until you find one you want to try and settle into. I think that’s true for some people. It’s certainly been true for me. I’ve gotten to try a few of them on now, and I’m hoping this next one is a good enough fit to last me for a while.

If this last year has taught me anything, it’s that there are a lot of different ways you can be. For a lot of people, the spectrum of existance ranges from renting to owning, cable to satellite, New York to LA. But there are a lot of other possibilities. I know that now. And the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, they rattle around in my head and remind me that I’m lucky enough to be able to choose.

So I got out of that Mexican whore house with no problems. Took a cab to the border, crossed it on foot.

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No forms, no passports, no stamps, no searches. Just show your license and keep on going.

Things change immediately once you’re on the other side. It’s not just America, it’s Texas.

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I spent the afternoon bumming around El Paso on my cell phone. It suddenly sprung to life as I approached the border crossing and started yelling at me about emails and phone calls and why have I been neglecting it for so long? We patched things up and now we’re getting along fine. I let my family know I’m not dead.

I caught the overnight bus from El Paso to LA. I will never take a bus in this country again. I’ve taken them in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia. Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Burma, and Mexico. You know what? Never any problems. No one was ever less than quiet, courteous, and respectful to fellow passengers. This bus on the other hand was packed full of overgrown, sociopathic man-children with ADD. It was a sealed fart cloud streaking across the Arizona desert. People were loud and obnoxious. They’d spread across both seats and refuse to give them up. They’d talk through the night about tedious nonsense, squaking and cursing with wild abandon. It is my opinion that buses in this country are mobile asylums for the dregs of our society. No one who isn’t insane or masochistic should ever even consider it.

I was lucky enough to get seated next to a God-fearing fellow of reasonable comportment. He was a Southern Baptist missionary, and we had a pleasant conversation about travel. He’d recently spent time in Malaysia — not for the purposes of proselytizing, mind you — that would be illegal. No, he went to Malaysia to play Badminton, and then he might’ve done some missionary work on the side while he was there.

We discussed free will versus predestination. He quoted from Romans and Joshua. I told him I’ll never subscribe to a religion that tells me I’ll be punished for not joining. He gave up and went to sleep.

I got to LA and found out there was a public transit strike, which meant no buses and no subway. I was pissed about the subway, cause it doesn’t take that many people to operate and I was in the extremely rare situation of having a point of origin and destination that are both very close to stops. I’m staying with a friend down in Redondo Beach and I didn’t want to make him drive for an hour to come get me, so I took a cab to his house. The cab ride cost more than the bus from El Paso, and it still wasn’t even that expensive.

I spent the last week catching up with old friends, poking around for work, and more than anything else, hanging out with Mike and Rosie and their two kids, Allie and Adam.

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Rosie invited me to stay here because she’s apparently a fan of the site, so it hasn’t been a complete waste of time.

We went down to San Diego and had dinner with Mason and Stephanie, and their son Joshua.

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Two couples, three kids, and me. Boy, didn’t I feel pointless.

But it’s okay. I’m not at a stage yet where I feel anxiety for not having multiplied. And I certainly enjoyed the company.

Joshua has a default facial expression that looks like the face kids make when they just did something really bad and haven’t gotten caught yet.

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I had a a picture of Stephanie here with a really unflattering expression, but then I felt guilty. So here’s a sweet, tender picture of her with her son instead.

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I have no pictures of Mike and Rosie. He deleted them off his camera and I never pulled mine out.

Okay, I’m not going to harp on about this, cause a number of people who’ll read this live here, but I’m just gonna say that from an urban planning standpoint, this city is pretty much a worst case scenario. It’s the ultimate model for waste and inefficiency. The decayed organic matter of 3 billion year’s worth of lifeforms is being converted into gaseous form and sprayed out at the atmosphere, and the atmosphere is pissed off about it.

God spent the better part of my visit trying to burn this whole place down. The skies turned deep orange and blocked out the sun, a thin sheet of ash descended on us, and flames danced on the horizon. Coincidentally, the star of Hercules Goes Bananas was elected governor.

I managed to be in New York for the blackout and LA for the fires. I like to keep places on their toes. Look out Seattle.

I’d forgotten I have so many friends here. And good friends, too. I don’t know where you all were when I lived here, cause I was miserable and lonely most of the time.

I’ve got some irons in the fire that weren’t in the fire before, so coming here may turn out to be a very good thing from an employment standpoint. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s all I have to say. I figure I’ll post one more time from Seattle, then eventually get around to filling in the remaining gaps in my journal. And then I’ll finally put this thing to bed.

5 Responses to Los Angeles, California Trying on a New Life

  1. Weili Huang

    Jeez Matt, you should join me in a BBQ in Boulder, we have a forest fire on the north and the around the mountains and we use those burning forest as fuel to roast our foods, no FAKE mexican buritos though……. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  2. Brian Jennings

    I want dat der picture o’ you and Vera and meself.. and if’n you gots that thar picture i hi sez.. all the better. For it over, travelin’ matt!

  3. shlime

    Congrats on making it to Seattle big fella – there were moments I was convinced you weren’t going to!! Glad to have been able to take the trip with you – wanna meet me in Ougadougou?

  4. Adam Quinn

    Wow- congratulations on leading a life wherein you do little to aid society. I envy you as you have fulfilled my dream. Props.

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