Some Days

Some days are long and last forever and a day.

Some days are long but tolerably so.

Some days are short and exact.

Some days flash past.

Some days.

Arrived

Los Angeles is one of the most special cities in the world. Even when the weather forecast announces that it’s going to be overcast with possible showers, you can still feel the presence of a bright yellow sun behind the clouds, and within hours the sky clears and that bright orb makes its appearance just in time for a last walk in the sunlight before dusk falls.

Beautiful as it still is and will always be to me, there are things that have changed. Nothing that’s unique to LA, but rather things that have changed across the United States. Melrose, the hip-happening street of fashion, food and fun, has now more FOR LEASE signs that it ever has before. Shutters are drawn across the empty store fronts, and the glass looks dusty, as if it’s been waiting for a new tenant for longer than it’s used to.

When we ate lunch today, a dark-haired, scruffy, tall homeless man walked over to the table behind us and took the tip that was left there for the waitress. We saw it, as did a woman inside the restaurant, and none of us did anything. It seemed to happen so fast. We all were sure he was going to take some item of food, but then he was gone and so was the waitress’ tip. What do you even do in a situation like this?

I’ve been taking photos. Too many, and probably mostly bad ones, but I’m finally going to try to catch some of the essence of this bizarre half-city-half-suburb in more than words.

I’m jet-lagged and exhausted and our trip took more than twenty-four hours. I think now is the time to sleep.

The Dos and Don’ts of Airport Terminals

DO:

-Get to the airport in plenty of time and stay positive and cheerful even if there’s such a long line that you think it must be leading to Timbucktoo and not to the check-in desks.

-Buy a bad cup of coffee, even if you’re not going to finish it because it’s too hot/cold/icky, because it’s traditional and social.

-Get something chocolaty to bring on the plane with you. You never know when you’ll get a sweet tooth.

-Make eye contact with security people. They like it when you smile as well.

DO NOT:

-Think about how much time you still have left to travel. Breaking down and crying in the middle of airport terminals in dispair is not a socially acceptable thing to do.

-Talk and joke loudly about the bombs in your luggage. You’ll end up missing you flight due to sitting in a cold room with a lamp shining in your eyes while tiny security people try to get you to confess what you’ve done.

-Sleep before a flight. You’ll want to fall asleep on the plane, not be wide-eyed, jittery and full of adrenaline.

-Begin conversations with people in the lines. You’ll end up needing to sit with them and hear all about their Uncle Morty’s social problems at his job and how many kidney stones they’re having taken out the day after tomorrow.

-Lose all hope for ever reaching your destination. Once again, public-meltdowns are not socially acceptable.

Repeat

Get cover note, then notarized copy, then graduation certificate, then transcript (“Ninth, tenth, eleventh, twlefth- ok.”), then letter (“This one is two letters… This is also with councillor recommendation.”), then graduation from honors program, then essays if needed, then stick it all in an envelope. Then repeat. And again, and again, and again.

Endless repeat of the same thing, endlessly dreary, endlessly pointless feeling. Only it was all done with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart, because I was almost done, so close to the ending of this long, intense, difficult, stressful period of applications to colleges. And now it’s done.

I cannot muster the strength to think about it anymore tonight. As it is, I feel my dreams will be full of addressing envelopes and struggeling with online applications. It doesn’t matter, though. It’s all behind me now. Tomrrow the applications will be sent and I won’t have to think about them until I begin to get my rejection and/or acceptance letters. I’ve done the best I could, and now, with a sigh of relief so loud and strong that I believe my screen was a bit buffeted, I shall climb into bed, read a book, and fall into an exhausted, pleased sleep.