Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Quivering Pen: "My First Trip to Los Angeles"

From Culver City in the northeast to Venice Beach in the southwest, the immense concrete slab of Venice Boulevard runs diagonally through some of the least scenic terrain in all of Los Angeles, passing under Interstate 405 and bisecting the Mar Vista neighborhood until it reaches, after seven interminable treeless miles, the freakiest beach in North America where middle-aged men wearing floral pattern Speedos do drug-induced dances on the boardwalk with their 1980s boomboxes pressed to their ears and where thickly muscled acrobats hopping around on pogo sticks mesmerize large crowds of weekend sun-worshipers.  As I boarded the number 33 bus near Culver City I asked the driver, “How long does it take to get to the beach from here?” 

The driver was strangely evasive.   “Uh…maybe…oh…twenty minutes or so,” he said, and I knew he was lying. 

“Really?  But it’s only seven miles away.” 

Standing behind me, swaying back and forth like a deckhand in stormy seas, a stout man of fifty tugged on his stylish el capit├ín mustache and slurred with indignation, “Twenty fucking minutes, my ass.  We’ll be on this fucking bus for an hour before we get close to the fucking beach.  Twenty minutes.  Fuck.  Ain’t no twenty minutes on this bus.” 

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