Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clarity, Where I Least Expected It

On Friday I went into the city.  Into the concrete jungle of LA, the real city.  Three freeways, miles of red taillights, and the shock-to-the-system I so badly needed.

Generally, I avoid driving in LA at all costs.  The stress of getting lost, of being honked at, of constantly feeling like death is the only possible outcome, is just too much for me.  Luckily, Santa Monica is very walkable.  But living in Santa Monica is also a little surreal.  It’s too clean; it’s too cute; it’s too convenient.  It’s a city where roses peek through white picket fences (literally), parking is abundant and free, the pastel-colored beach cruiser is the vehicle of choice, and the sun-drenched beach is a constant silver lining.  It’s Pleasantville.  It’s so easy to get lost in its slow hum, so easy to fall into a life where time is foggy and you can never remember what you meant to do but you can’t imagine what would be so important that you would have to actually drive somewhere, or god-forbid, leave the city limits.  Suddenly it’s August and you can’t remember what happened to July.

During the months leading up to the Bar exam, I rarely left my little Santa Monica bubble because frankly, I didn’t have the time.  In the week after the exam, I let the slow hum of Pleasantville take over.  I needed it.  I needed to live in a foggy, blurry, slow bubble.  But enough is enough, and by Thursday I was itching for some new scenery.  So on Friday, I got in my car and drove for the first time in weeks.  I drove to Silverlake, where my friend Leslie was moving into her new apartment.  I listened to Ryan’s Roses on KIIS and remembered how crude Hollywood can be.  I blasted Katy Perry’s “Alien” three times in the space of 20 minutes and finally reached my saturation limit for mindlessness.  I merged onto three freeway interchanges, narrowly escaping death each time, and felt my blood pressure rising from the stress of the commute.  I whizzed past mirrored skyscrapers and got excited about having a job, a purpose, a place to be.  

In that car, on that drive, I felt something come alive in me again.  I felt my heart beat a little harder, my blood run a little quicker, and my mind think a little sharper.  I felt the rush of people going places, and things getting done.  I felt the spark of the city, and it woke me up.

So I’m awake, I’m alive, and I’m ready.  Anywhere you want to go, I’ll be there.

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