Sunday, January 30, 2011

"And it's one more day up in the canyon/And it's one more night in Hollywood/It's been so long since I've seen the ocean/Guess I should."

The Song: "A Long December," Counting Crows. Words & music by Matt Malley, Charlie Gillingham, Dan Vickrey, Adam Duritz, Ben Mize, David Bryson. Track 13 of Recovering the Satellites, 1996.
When/how acquired: Purchased CD, c. 1997.
Listen/watch here.

I did see the Pacific Ocean yesterday, from the back deck of my friend Gary's house, and then when I walked down to meet my friend Ann Marie for brunch at Patrick's Roadhouse, and again when I rode down Ocean Avenue to the Third Street Promenade.

Coming back to Los Angeles in winter, I notice two things immediately: how full of color everything is and how much money everybody seems to have.

"When I come to Los Angeles, I covet things," I said yesterday. Everybody seems to have so much stuff, and the landscape is full of stores and billboards and signs inviting us to buy more, more, more. I saw not one but two Bentleys yesterday, one black and one white. Those are $200,000 cars. Who has $200,000 to spend on a car? And why would you, if you could?

And yet . . . and yet . . . the danger of Los Angeles is that we see these cars on the street and think, My God, what a thing of beauty — because they really are. And then we (or at least I) think, Somebody owns that. Somebody gets to drive that around. From which it is only a small step — again, at least for me — to thinking, Why can't I have that?

Which is why it's much better for my soul and my peace of mind that I live in central Maine.

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