Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Los Angeles 

(Hello, friends. I don't expect that anyone is reading this but, if you are, welcome back. I may post from time to time. I figure it is pointless to have my thoughts exist elsewhere, for many reasons.)

I live in Los Angeles now. Los Angeles makes me feel as if I should wear a sign around my neck with directions carved into it, saying, "JUST ADD WATER." A year with 345 days of sun makes all seem insignificant. You never have to struggle to see.

I learned one thing this week: the fringes of palm fronds turn brown and wilt at a peculiar angle when fall arrives. This is not quite like New England fall, where all of history seems to open up, and suddenly it feels like there are no centuries dividing you from Anne Boleyn or John Lennon or the obvious Emily Dickenson.

There is very little poetry here; instead, stucco walls, stained sidewalks, the smell of trash, suffocating mountains wearing celebrities homes like necklaces overlooking an endless barrio. I live in that barrio. There are gangs and stray dogs and needles on the sidewalk. Every day I step over these items to make my way to be with the children, who are better at stepping around them than I am.

Our advisor told us that every now and then, we will have to do a lockdown at the youth center, but not to worry, because the children will be calm and tell you how to go through the procedures.