Los Angeles

I come from Los Angeles where Yoga, wheat grass, chai lattes, and world religions are commonplace. On the weekends I take the metrolink to Downtown, Chinatown, J-Town, and other ethnic boroughs because I seek substance for stories. I have found that motley battlegrounds do not exist in the suburbs, and that luxury sedans do not characterize the beauty of the city. I take interest in the dilapidated buildings from the 1930’s. I embrace the broken bus with the broken driver. I enjoy fantasizing about being the next Scorsese or Tarantino. Whenever I manage to catch a glimpse of the aesthetic multitudes that permeate from Sunset Boulevard to Fairfax Avenue, I turn ideas and scenes over in my head and I construct cinematic episodes that I hope will make it to the Oscars one day. I am mesmerized by watching babbling schizophrenics, teenage mothers, doctors, bohemian hipsters, and aspiring actors converge to cross streets and sidewalks. I muse over capitalism as Los Angeles’ finest executives seek Pershing Square to fuel cars and hunger alike. I devour atmospheric edibles at Musso & Frank’s in dwarfing red booths, where the smell of cigarettes lingers among the shadows of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Standing in line at Pink’s Hot Dogs in mid morning satisfies post-rage outings of excess and indulgence. I swoon for the women that drive convertibles behind sunglasses and expensive smiles, and I seduce myself into daydreaming delirium over city heydays that echo in the glory of “The Bradbury” and the Central Library. I am the constant observer, and I believe in salvation not found in divinity, but rather redemption that is rooted in learning from other people. I am convinced that chaotic crescendos and euphoric episodes echo in both barrios and aristocratic estates. Los Angeles is teemed with tragedy and ecstasy, and I am liberated in finding the diversity of perspective. I want to expound on aesthetic exposés of man’s torments because we all need to be saved by solace in knowing that we are watched and understood. Los Angeles has me under its arms and it has given me passion. I will create films that are sympathetic to the urban madness because I aspire to share the lives of others—but most of all, I am exhumed by a Los Angeles appetite, unwavering in its ability to donate eclectic eulogies. 

Looking Back

Upstairs hardwood creaked and thumped with melodic walking. The basement smelled of mothballs and earth mold, and outside it was warm and damp. Dad was still alive and mom still had her long hair. Mom-mom still wore eyeglasses that perched on the end of noses and midnights. Brendan and I were still small enough to sit on her lap in the orange velveteen windback chair. Pop-pop sipped his gin and tonic and ate peanuts in handfuls as the pond across the road rippled in conciliation to a westward Cape breeze.  Down in the basement there were old magazines and some pictures too. They were black and white and the edges were torn with age.  They were in a box on a shelf in an oak wooden bookcase, and I reached for the concave cardboard edges in honest attempt to grasp what had been so intentionally placed out of my reach. The top photograph had people with faint smiles and stares. I pushed it aside and brought it back to the base of the stairs where the house met the storm cellar. I sat under a golden orange light bulb that hung in solitary sadness-—its hue giving only enough light to satisfy the last step, and I saw that it had cast dark shadows underneath the workbench. I came across a photograph of an older man with a high brow and thick eyes. He looked aged, and it was not sadness so much as it was excess that encircled his stare. I shoved the box under the stairs and ran upstairs to show Dad.

“Who is this picture of daddy?”

“That is Pop-pop’s dad. That is your great grandfather.”

“Oh. Why does he look so upset?”

“Well, he lived a long life. Living for so long brought him many upsets.”

“Is it good to live a long time?”

“Most of the time it is.”

Dad sipped from a wine glass and patted me on the head as he turned to walk outside. I went back down the splintered steps into the dark toward the light bulb and reached for the box underneath the stairs. Dad was diagnosed with leukemia that following year. He passed away four years thereafter. I cannot say that I was devastated. It was immaturity and ongoing trips to the City of Hope that prepared myself and my mother to say that he went on Mother’s Day. He was 54 years old. He did not live a long time. The house on Cape Cod where my grandparents lived was sold. My childhood home was advertised in the local newspaper and my family and I were resolved to showing it off as a house without personal commitments. My brother said it best when he exhaled regrets in nostalgic sadness.

“People like us Spencer are given everything in the beginning just so it can be taken away sooner. We work the rest of our lives to have what we were born into.”

People are obsessively induced to memories. The past provides a sanctuary that is appealing because we only remember when we were most happy. I remember Cape Cod more than I recall the number of times I drove to the Hospital to see my father. Everything that I enjoyed as a child I have lost and preserved in quiet memory as a young adult. I am intent on becoming successful so that I can buy my childhood home. I am intent on returning back to Cape Cod and obtaining the house across the pond. Most of the time it is satisfying to live a long life because it only gives you more time to create or recreate a past or ideal happiness. It is hard for short lived men to accomplish all of their intents because of the unavailability of time. I do not see the death of my father as a burdening sadness because he is gone. It is an upset that no child deserves to endure, but it has granted the initiative to work for a utopian happiness that has made me a productive individual with a passion for progress. And so I manufacture rebirth in memories that are to be concrete in the future, because I am sure that I am going to live a long time.

Mill Valley (Part 1)

Swamped in the backseat, packed with a guitar and collegiate remnants, my shoulder took a spill into the vinyl of the car door. We careened down a wooden bridge into a paved driveway, hidden from the road. 

Darkness enveloped the house in a way that a child would cup a glass globe filled with fake snow and water. Large bay windows jutted out past the front door. It felt almost as if the house had been constructed by an architect with dreams of cliffs and sea bluffs. Instead, the house prayed to millennia old redwoods and Mount Tamalpais.

I unpacked my things—a small backpack, a denim jacket, and a water bottle. Inside, it was cool and damp. And though we were still in California, the foreign chill swept the skin on my cheeks unfamiliarly, reminding me of displacement and uncertainty. 

We ate dinner and spoke in what seemed like hushed voices.  There was talk of travel—we ate upon a Peruvian tablecloth, Gabe talked of South America, and I recalled London, trying to speak in the way a young man would recall his youth in his declining years. I smiled between the tings made of fork and plate as I quickly realized that I was, yet again, living out of a suitcase.

Later that night, we drunk ourselves into ecstasy. We sipped bourbon and drowned the brown with ales from boxed glassware. My cheeks became warm and slack, and I stared out those bay windows into darkness. Hell, it didn’t matter; sea, forest, desert—the black of the night was mesmerizing and I couldn’t pull my eyes away from those damned windows. 

The backs of my eyes soon became very comfortable. In a hurry, I fumbled to my jean pockets. 

We strolled outside, cold hands jumped into our sides in search of warmth. I cupped my hands to produce flame and smoke.

Ah, there it was. The tobacco smoke was rejuvenating. 

I stumbled in z-formation from sidewalk to sidewalk. Gabe and I laughed about our reckless nights. Those nights when we drank too much, those nights when we were with girls who didn’t deserve us.

We spoke of heartbreak, too. We made promises to the world and became giants; we  were experts of our time, born in the wrong era. 

Tracy St.

This was the beginning of a short story. To be finished (like most of the work I will post on here).

In the night the gloom set in above the orange hues of Los Angeles. It was cool outside, and the wind flaked the wisps of palm trees in passing odes. I lit a cigarette, and watched from a concrete balcony on Tracy Street. Next door the blue silhouettes of Ella’s room licked the window frames. Down the block, the brick of John Marshall High shivered in urban solitude. I sat down and brushed the ashes off my brown leather shoes. The cigarette tasted good, and the cold steps that so graciously accommodated the weight of insomnia and vice emitted a comforting chill. I thought about our old dog and her bear fur that buried the small hands of my childhood. As I craned my neck in aesthetic delirium, I saw the window of the playroom. It cradled young faces and I recall that it was the outpost for toys and dino the dinosaur. To my left was the bay window of the living room. It sat above the blues and reds of the birds of paradise and it was large enough to frame the furniture and ceilings with generous admiration. 

This tumblr.

Is now only reserved for my writing. If you choose to read, thank you. 

(Source: jellyfishkills)

(Source: karicieszkiewicz)

adventures-of-the-blackgang:

Clovelly harbour and village, Devon
Clovelly was a working herring-fishing port before its scenic charms started to attract sightseers in the 19th century.
Reaching the town was difficult for paddle steamers, whose passengers had to be carried ashore by rowing boats.
As this photograph shows, the village is built on a cliff, and the High Street, known locally as ‘Up-a-long’ and ‘Down-a-long’, is one of the steepest streets in England.
photo circa 1906

adventures-of-the-blackgang:

Clovelly harbour and village, Devon

Clovelly was a working herring-fishing port before its scenic charms started to attract sightseers in the 19th century.

Reaching the town was difficult for paddle steamers, whose passengers had to be carried ashore by rowing boats.

As this photograph shows, the village is built on a cliff, and the High Street, known locally as ‘Up-a-long’ and ‘Down-a-long’, is one of the steepest streets in England.

photo circa 1906