Just before it started raining Los Angeles was full of lifers and homebody types that didn’t think of a world outside California, smug pricks intent on turning L.A. into a ‘real city’, homeless people, cars, and out-of-town money who hated the city. Well, I loved the city.
When it started raining it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Sure, it was a little heavier than usual, but it wasn’t unprecedented. It was still the same purple sky at night, the same sort of misty rain that people from the tropics laugh about. It rained for a long time but that was the way some years went. If it went forty days and forty nights, it wasn’t because of the Bible or even GLOBAL WARMING. It was just an active El Nińo. Or La Nińa. Some weather pattern or another.
After the forty day mark had passed, the city started to be a little more on edge. Rich neighborhoods in
The Scientologists had always thought I’d make a good mark. They sent me mail. Asked me about my crimes. Asked me to watch movies with them. I was thrilled to find out we finally had the technology available to achieve spiritual freedom, but I still couldn’t afford that technology. And I like drugs. Even when I’m not using them. Still, those people were persistent. I guess it doesn’t matter if you can afford it, they’ll take your money anyway. Which is probably the argument they used to get recognition from the Feds as a proper religion. I understand that took a while.
I had spent the last several years in a hipster neighborhood going corporate. I was not a part of the original hipsterization and I fancied I wasn’t much with the corporate side, either. I was just glomming onto the haircuts to say I was one of them. I was (and am) pretty corporate. I wasn’t dirty enough, in a band enough, or around during the day enough to be one of them. I also didn’t have any money because I had made the mistake of not having rich parents who hated me by paying my rent. Assholes.
In my neighborhood there was not a lot of incentive for people to leave. They threw parties and went to shows and sold paintings that looked bad and similar. The houses were not crumbling any more than usual. There were fewer problems with skunks and coyotes. Less celebrity sightings, to be sure, but they were still out there. Starlets in white t-shirts with no bras. Men with tattoos. Men with white t-shirts and no bras. Eating expensive re-imaginings of proletariat dishes.
At the time I was seeing a girl. She had a rich father. He did not live in, nor did he approve of,
When I met her I had the idea it would be easy sex. She led me through everything. She talked and didn’t ask me to. She wanted to go places and do things without asking me what I thought. She even made the first few moves on me to make sex happen. When it finally did all over her shirt she was even cordial about that. Not excited, though. She must have been seeing other guys at that point. I couldn’t get her on the phone very often but I was always there for her call. Then and now my phones don’t see a lot of action. And I’ve always gotten too focused on things when I want them.
I was married to the girl for a good long while. She had a mean streak long enough to live my life through it. I got a career, a house, a child, a car and in-laws who hated me. It was all great story fodder and made me feel important. I don’t feel important anymore but I did once. I suppose I owe a life that I lived to her. Great. If I were religious I would now start praying.
I am not a chef. I am not trained as a chef. I am not a numbers man. I never did any more mathematics than was required of me in order to graduate from college. It’s highly debatable that I have any facility to manage people or even remain friendly and/or professional with them. Well, maybe that stretches credulity to say it’s highly debatable. There is not a lot of debate on the side of the argument that says I am those things. Forgive my sportscasteristic use of language. I am a sot and at times a bully and I don’t do well to keep friends or business acquaintances. That wasn’t so hard.
I point out my traits in white shadow in order to set up what I am, or rather, what I was. I ran a rather successful restaurant where I was in charge of hiring and firing people, setting a menu, ordering stock, balancing schedules. It is nuts to think I pulled that off of my own volition. If it had been up to me when I was 29 I would have spent the last several decades doing the same thing I am doing right this instant. It was all because of my wife. In spite of what you know about me to this point, fractious and self-loathing information I am putting forth, I feel it is important to note that I do not feel particularly thankful to my ex-wife for all the wonderful opportunities and travel destinations she afforded me. Affords me. I feel resentful towards her is all. Everything, every sham, every day she spent with me was motivated out of revenge. And I know, I knew, that she didn’t ever like me. Our sex life was awful and I took it because I like having bad sex more than I like only being able to masturbate. And that’s an important line of demarcation. I really prefer masturbation to intercourse, but I like to have my options open. I am a bad person. But that doesn’t make her a better person and it doesn’t mean I’m wrong to hate her. Me me me I me. There, I said it.
When it had been raining for a few months people started selling their cars and moving. It took a lot longer for a mass migration than one would imagine. People dig in and hold on. After years of hearing about property values it would be foolish not to take advantage while those values were low. Even if it was a crapshoot the foundation could withstand any more rainy days. Surprising, really, how many places outlasted their owners. In a manner of thought.
There have been technological breakthroughs that amounted to nothing. The idea of a paradigm shift is a joke. People are apes that like to kill things. That doesn’t set us apart from other apes. Neither does talking about how we feel, or even the fact that we do feel. You can’t “used-to-be” what you are now and always have been. We are apes, evolution be damned. And we still can’t stop it from raining.
It’s good now to see the beliefs that were prevalent among the religious and the secular are so ridiculous in hindsight and it has only been a few years. From Socrates to