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July 7, 2009

I love the smell of helicopters in the morning

The sound permeating downtown Los Angeles today is helicopter. Helicopters are ringing the skyline, hovering above, it's eerie. Like a scene out of some bad movie.

I decided to wait until after the closed the 101 (!!!) at rush hour (!!!) and the 101/405 interchange (only the busiest freeway exchange in the entire United States) at rush hour (!!!) before deciding finally to take the Orange Line to the Red Line and by then it was late enough that the crowds had thinned out.

I did see two guys in the 7th Street metro station wearing the glitter wristbands and felt a little jealous. At least they were going off to do something interesting, and not sit in a beige office and stare at a computer. And now I have to stay late because I came in so late. I'll admit it -- I signed up for the ticket lottery but didn't win. Must be the newspaper ink in my blood, but I can't bear to miss a great story.

But of course it's just another day at the office today for me. I'm not sure why, but I find the subway depressing. There's something grim about it, all those people sitting there, and always at least two of them (sometimes more, a group) making too much noise, wanting people to look at them and pay attention to them (but if someone stares or makes a comment, they're ready to mouth off, fight). Or the crazy people, which this city has in droves. And I always feel like I need a shower after I get off the train and out of the station, every station smelling like a mixture of pee and body odor and chemicals.

So I was relieved when the doors to the subway opened at my stop and I got off and then I saw the guys with the wristbands and as I walked up the stairs to the platform above, I saw a little knot of boys waiting for the blue line train. One of them was dancing and moonwalking and people clapped. I clapped too. He was pretty good, actually. They were all wearing Michael Jackson T-shirts and carrying flowers and candles and stuff. Then I walked to work.

Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Posted by laurie at July 7, 2009 10:37 AM