Wednesday, May 17, 2017

L.A. Images

I posted a photo essay on Las Vegas and now I will post a short one on Los Angeles. I've been neck deep in things that are not so narcissistic as a blog and not interesting enough to write about. I'm also stuck in a deep rut of remorse, regret, despair and surrender. I refuse to be another gum flapping Washington pundit in a world of pundit and political spin whores. We're fucked, obviously, headed toward apocalypse but it's beneath me to add my opinion on these trivial matters. Still, fate is forcing me out of my hole and I will soar once more with the eagles and maybe write something worthy of this vain blog. Don't hold your breath.

My trip to L.A. was to get Federal Security clearance. I figure if I can pass the Fed background check after living on a street named Emiliano Zapata in Chiapas, and a street with no name in Nicaragua, then anyone can pass it. I almost said I have an Uncle who was a doctor in Cuba and was assassinated in Argentina, but I left that part out of the interview. This essay starts with some photos unrelated to L.A.

Anza Valley, before the developers scam the Cahuilla Indians out of their land.

Upgraded the Vespa Ciao front drum brake. It's still suicide on two wheels.

Steps stain project that was humbling.

Thanks to Moen Kitchen products for making something that can not be repaired and is not suited for super chlorinated water. There are two O-rings that fit in that terrible 'quick connect' gadget that leaks. But the real leak that doomed this faucet was at the weld above the nipple. I cut the whole thing in half and found a bizzare flange that seemed to prevent backward suction of water but had built up with so much crud that there was no flow of water. Way to go Moen.

Finally, the iron road to L.A. I've been singing "Route 66" all the time because Nat King Cole sings it. It's pure blues but I use a Jazz substitution progression. This is Eastern terminal of the Metrolink leading to La La Land. I was reading a book by Naguib Mahfouz and it inspired me to write: I hugged her to say goodbye. Her dog playfully scratched my arm with sharp claws. When I released her I realized she had tried to kiss me on the cheek, Mexican-style, but had missed when I pulled away. I didn't know what to do so I walked into the darkness, my leather-soled cowboy boots rattling the dry wood sidewalk of the Ghost Town commercial district. Then I drove away with no destination.

Finally, evidence of Los Angeles. Dead rat on the sidewalk. I was in the garment district buying Python skins.

Skid Row, on the corner of Butt Crack and Overdose Ave. Thousands of homeless people, (very few illegal immigrants) living in tents on the sidewalk, collecting SSI checks and sweeping the gutter of flower debris. It reeked of urine and beer and trash.

A village of nylon tents. Economic refugees. I've lived among them long enough that they hold few secrets. I didn't bother any of them for an interview since I already know the answers.

City Hall officials can shamefully look out their window at Skid Row and laugh till it hurts that they don't give a shit but they fooled everyone. Sure, let's bomb Syria because Assad kills the rebels while thousands of homeless people live in squalor in the shadow of Los Angeles City Hall, waiting to be gassed by the police. Make Syria Great Again!

I need something in this photo for perspective, but this is a 50 ft sculpture outside the Federal Building near Temple and San Pedro. They seem to be fighting and are riddled with bullet holes, naturally. 

Skateboarder with Backpack and Dog. This brought back dark memories. I wrote again: I resolved to tell her I loved her and, depending on her response, ask her to marry me. But the next time I saw her she was crying and hysterical. She had just learned her father was suddenly dying and she was leaving on the next bus. For the first time, I noticed she was wearing a toe ring. She apologized, sobbing, and turned away. I never saw her again but sometimes I speak those unspoken words to trees or empty park benches or dead rats on the sidewalk.

Reverse view of City Hall and purple Jacaranda trees in bloom.

Traffic isn't bad on I-10, one can still see the street.
I would've taken video of myself playing the public piano at union station but I noticed the next train to San Bernardino left in 1 minute so I ran past the piano and down the central terminal hallway to 10B and up the steps, past a family, asked the station attendants which train was going to San Bernardino and jumped on as the door closed behind me. I fell asleep clutching my notebook and the taupe python skin as the conductor's voice announced our destination.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.