Saturday, June 25, 2011

Those shores you found

For the first time in my life, I'm excited about the summer. A couple of weeks ago, before it even officially began, my friend ordered a gin and tonic at a bar and I yelled, "Yeah! It's fucking summer!" which has become my default declaration but also has emerged as an excuse par excellence. Listened to "Girl Don't Tell Me" by the Beach Boys on repeat for two hours? It's fine, it's fucking summer. Danced in the park with a boy at sundown? You'd be going to hell for all of that PDA during any other time but summer. Wandered through a grocery store at 3 am to buy candy, TV dinners, and raspberry lemonade to mix with the vodka you will be drinking until you finally go to bed at 10? Oh-my-god-I-have-work-in-four-hours but you know what? Who cares, it's fucking summer. I've spent so much of my life (or all of it, I guess) being young but not feeling it, being told by every coffee shop Tom, Dick, and Harry that I have an "old soul," thinking that the lack of youth-feeling was just some indelible part of myself, and now I feel like I'm being swept down a river while sitting in an inner tube. It's odd and bumpy and a little frightening but I'm enjoying the hell out of myself.

I've been hanging out on the Westside lately (from whence I came) and I'm starting to appreciate it again. I'd been avoiding it, keeping my exploits east of La Cienega, and buying into the same bullshit that I fought against for so long, but recently a funny thing happened: in the middle of declaring how much I hate West Los Angeles I realized that that isn't exactly true. It's complicated. The Westside is a shitty place, sure, with its yoga moms and bars full of uninteresting people in their early 30s wearing bad clothes (is the term "yuppie" still relevant?) and middle schoolers being loud and all up in the way when I'm just trying to get a fucking $7 smoothie and get out of here without getting a headache, okay, but in its shittiness, beyond the boredom that washes over me when I spend too much time there, there's a charm there that I can't find in the Valley or other parts of L.A. officially recognized as "lame." It could just be that I have a soft spot for the Westside because it's where I grew up, that there's no charm, no secrets, no beauty in boredom, or whatever, but I don't completely buy that, either.

Anyway I just read several pages of U.S. suicide statistics which means that I am officially ready for bed, deuces

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Maira Gall