The Truth Board

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

My Photo
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, April 21, 2011

opened closings

There used to be a park here. Now the park is no more. Even with this new concrete lot, no park. Too many cars, not enough people. When the open space went, I guess the minds closed in response. These are the thoughts I have when driving the streets of LA.
Maybe it’s the fact that all that is “real” has been pushed to the margins. The green of their lawns is not real; neither are the dirt brown dog parks or glass-floored beaches. The drop of water that expands to cover all surface is the race we undertake to control all that we cannot define, the comfort we maintain in our own creations. The hills are scarred by peace seeking money, but this is now a private place for have’s to lament what they have not--a touch with reality.
I broached these observations with my aunt, Karen, who has lived in LA the better part of four decades. She started with her neighbors in Brentwood, who, when she was a child would frequently interact and stop by to chat, believing their children of similar ages to be worthy of contact. They had local hangout spots at Kenter Canyon Elementary and backyard pools to swim or skate, watched over by older neighbors who would laugh advice on how to butterfly properly and invite the family over for an afternoon drink.
I live in this same house currently, but I can’t find the neighborhood anymore. As far as I have seen, my neighborhood consists solely of white babies and Mexican ladies. And going door-to-door with a greeting these days literally provides more harm than good, what with the gates, guard dogs, and trespassing eyes-in-sky. When’d you become better than us? I’ll bet you want privacy after trapping the minds and bodies of the public, running the media to make those fat paychecks seem like a good idea, like you’ll use that revenue for the greater good. Maybe if you lock those gates permanently to stew in your own ivory tower can we call it even. Maybe.
I wasn’t sure if the drivers in LA had always attempted to kill perceived competitors with their eye and finger strength, so I posited this view to Karen as well. She related the times she would ride horses down San Vicente Boulevard, receiving waves and cheers, not honks and glares. Traffic would stop for those crossing the street, parking spaces were not obtained by knifepoint, turning signals opened space. But somehow, everything closed. “Make way for me, I am much too busy to appreciate this scene”--the motto I’ve made up for the stressed and angry ones.
I recognize the annoyance of seeing cars line the street, cars surround cars on top of cars, but I also recognize there is a space for me somewhere in this wild city. Even if its 10 blocks from my original destination, because days like those get me outside and suddenly, my original intent has been surpassed by something wonderful and unexpected. I keep my eyes open to see through the interior limits, the rules and restrictions that keep bodies locked in their concrete jungle.
The experienced world traveler is the one who navigates Los Angeles neighborhoods with ease. It’s easy enough to become trapped in a Brentwood or Silverlake or Venice and forget there is a global medley sprinkled throughout your county. But the traffic keeps us from leaving, or the thought of spending time and money on parking deters exploration, or those damn hipsters and homeless keep dirtying everything. Many excuses for no good reason, but why ruin your “cool” by dancing at the show?
So Karen tells me she’s moving to Colorado. She’s been telling me this for 20 years. “There’s some open land there that sends you right back to your maker”, I’m told. But I know the solitude on a ranch with 20 open acres surrounding is no different than 20,000 square feet of city isolation. Well, except for the peace of mind. But I like the options here in LA, they may seem daft, but I figure the more I explore, the more I push these limits out, the larger my bubble grows until it surpasses this world. There’s no time for locked intellects that demand respect from climate-controlled cockpits, transporting inflated insecurities from one asylum to the next.

Someday these bubbles will burst.

--Weston Finfer


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home