Cruising down the boulevard on the side of Venice Beach, I can’t see the beauty of California anymore. Maybe it’s because the sun is down. Maybe it’s simply because I just don’t belong here. I see tweakers scurrying like roaches whenever a light approaches them on the boardwalk. Vatos looking suspicious because who knows what they’re doing or into, and then there’s a certain grungy scent of sunbathed vagabonds who haven’t bathed with any actual soap in months. I notice that the people are slower, more involved in the trivial parts of America than they are in self-growth; more involved in yesterday than today or tomorrow. I don’t belong here.
Sunday afternoon I met Troy for Matt’s birthday party at Open Air at La Cienega. That scene was it. Hot girls at every inch of that space, bottomless mimosas and a DJ who knew exactly what to spin based on the types of people he saw in the crowd. That moment was rare for me these days as I haven’t gotten out much at all. That day we helped break up one fight and then that night I got into another one. When will I learn to stop making stupid mistakes based on alcohol? It’s a redundancy that I am fed up with. A cycle that I have committed to put an end to.
It was that night that I got to see a darker side of LA than I have ever seen before, and within that darkness that I got to feel that anxiety one does when they can’t wait to go home after a long day of work and the clock still only reads 2:30pm. “Home”, now there’s a word that is tossed around much too frequently; a word that not a lot of people use properly. I no longer felt like I was at home. To be honest, I have never felt that way while in LA. I don’t know why. I can’t call it. All I know is that I saw things and heard people’s stories about how they ended up in LA, and as I write this I’m packing my bags to head back East. It’s just not for me. It’s not how I want to raise my son.
Sure. We have rats and roaches in NYC. We have crackheads over there too, and heroin addicts and stoners and thieves as well, but for some odd reason or the other we still seem more sensible about life; less “in-the-clouds” than most of the people here; less daydreaming and more living. I wouldn’t trade that in the world for anything. Yes, we daydream too in NYC, but for the most part we’re out there getting it; out there making shit happen, all the damn time.
You go to NYC to “make it”, and you come to LA once you’ve made it and can afford to live comfortably. From what I’ve experienced, most of the people that have come to LA expecting to “make it” have lost themselves within their very own daydreams. Lost inside their ten thousandth idea. Lost within the perfectly beautiful blue sky and the flawless beaches. I think that right there is the actual problem and I don’t care for it. I need that cold slap to the face from mother nature once in a while to let me know what time of the year it is. It’s too easy to get lost in LA. Way too easy, and I don’t want that for my kin.
This Hidden Charms tune just speaks to me that way. It’s me taking a midnight drive through Venice Beach with the glare of streetlights peaking in through the car windows and cigarette smoke escaping the cracks in them. A last wave goodbye to the land of beautiful dreamers.