The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

“SoCal is where my mind states, but it's not my state of mind.”

From the outside looking in, people hear “LA” and think glamour and privilege. As I packed my things to go from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado to the City of Angels, I was looking for an adventure, something that would let me escape to a place that no one was able to describe in words. Four years later, I could not have imagined wanting to leave a city so badly. I have yet to see all that Los Angeles has to offer, and maybe that’s due to the fact that I get cold feet just thinking of driving. The image of the parking lot that is the 405 pops into my head, turning a simple thirty minute trip into an hour and a half of trying to distract myself from my newly found road rage that won’t seem to go away.

In the years before I flew a thousand miles to start my new life in Los Angeles, I had come to visit my brother while he went to LMU. I fell in love with the campus, the beautiful palm trees that bordered Alumni Mall, the sunshine in abundance as I looked out to the illustrious ocean while on the bluff. It was a mini paradise, but as I soon found out, Los Angeles as a whole did not coincide with LMU. The prominent tall palm trees grew even in the dirtiest of places, and the smog, although making sunsets more colorful and all the more unbelievable, made it hard for me to breathe. I found myself fearful of travelling by myself, as I didn’t feel that safety I felt just ten minutes before on top of the bluff.

As friends came to visit, I would take them to the tourist spots of Los Angeles. Downtown LA, Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theatre; all which define Los Angeles to those who aren’t from around here. I was embarrassed to show these landmarks off, as the sidewalks were lined with costumed characters begging for money after you take a funny picture with them. I can recall Homer Simpson following my mother and me down the block, enlisting in his friends Spiderman and Jack Sparrow to enforce the street rules that were unknown to first time California travelers. I got a sense that the people who surrounded me were all tourists, each block ending in stores that sold California key chains and t-shirts so they were able to show off their trip to “paradise” after they journeyed home. Would they embellish their trip when they tell stories to their friends and coworkers of their vacation? Was I the only person who, as I stepped out of my car, thought this can’t be THE Hollywood I see in the movies, could it be?

Over the years, I have gotten to know many of the spots that make Los Angeles beautiful. Besides campus, I can travel fifteen minutes to beaches that make my friends jealous. I have hiked in Griffith Park, people watched in Venice Beach, ridden the Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier, and observed the art and landscape at the Getty. When I watch famous television shows or movies and I see a glimpse of Los Angeles, I smile because I am lucky to be in a place that is so desired for. I sometimes yearn to be back in Denver, a city that doesn’t spread out among the multitude of highways that take years to decipher, but I know that Los Angeles holds a special place in my heart because of how unforgettable my time has been here.

-- Jackie DiBiase


Blogger Editorial Staff said...

I love the oddities we uncover in unique.And a completely different vibe than CO I'm sure!

--Weston Finfer

April 28, 2011 at 5:22 AM  

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