Saturday, November 10, 2012

Los Angeles

You sent Los Angeles a text: a heads up to let it know you were on your way. Los Angeles already knew. It tracked the GPS unit in your car. It paired the signal with the receiver in your cell phones. It monitored data from your car engine like temperature, quality of intake air, and fluid levels. It mined information about your average speed, the songs you listened to the most, and a list of suggestions about other artists you might like. Los Angeles found a way to welcome you and let you know you were being watched. It texts you back,

LA: I can’t wait to see you! By the way, I think you need an oil change.

Los Angeles is smiling at you impossibly hard. It is looking at a picture of itself on the cover of a fitness magazine, pulling up its expensive t-shirt to reveal washboard abs. Turn to page 37 to find out how Los Angeles did it. To see what Los Angeles eats to keep looking young. Los Angeles is smiling so hard it seems like its teeth might slice through its own lips. Its grin makes your skin crawl.

Los Angeles is being waved past the security checkpoint. The security team is more interested in you than Los Angeles. As you walk forward, their body language reveals that they are preparing to stop you.

Do you have any fruits or vegetables? “No.” You do.

Do you have any weapons or explosives? “No.” You do.

What is your relationship with Los Angeles? “We’re good friends.” You’ve never met.

Security doesn't believe you. They look at Los Angeles, who confirms "I know them, they're with me."

Los Angeles clasps its hands around yours for an assertive handshake and says, “Don’t forget about me when you’re famous!” You can never really tell if LA takes you seriously or not. Los Angeles is looking through you, trying to catch the attention of the graphic designer sitting at the sushi counter. Los Angeles is nodding its head and saying “uh huh” at everything in regular intervals, enough to make you question if it understands or cares. Los Angeles is asking for the fresh grated wasabi, for the savory egg custard that isn't on the menu.

Have you seen LA’s new tattoo? What language is it in? It looks like Cyrillic.

Have you seen LA’s new apartment? They shot scenes from Inception in it.

Have you seen LA’s red Tibetan Mastiff? The dog is literally red. When pressed on what it paid for the dog, Los Angeles smiles, and looks off camera “a lot.”

In the airport you’re freezing. Rubbing your arms to stay warm. Los Angeles is contemplating its jacket options. It taps you on the shoulder, holding up two options: military-esque green jacket or black peacoat? You gesture towards the peacoat. Listening to a cellphone poised between its shoulder and cheek, LA mouths “thank you” and stuffs the military jacket back in its suitcase.

Los Angeles can see that you’re hurt. That you are slowly losing it. A carefully calculated expression of concern overtakes LA’s face. It tilts its eyebrows in just the right way, leans forward, and asks in a hushed tone, “Are you ok?”

“No, LA. I’m not.”

“It’s ok to be sad that she’s gone. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of her.”

“It’s more than the girl, Los Angeles.”

“The restaurant? You’re not going to make it back in time for service are you?”

“I’m going to try, but it’s not looking good. It’s eating me alive.”

“Is that all? You’re gonna be late for work? Relax dude.” Los Angeles begins reaching for the intercom, “I can totally have Kit bring you a Kombucha-” You cut LA off.

“It’s you LA. You creep me out. I think you’re really cool, but I can’t shake the feeling that you’re pure evil.”

LA sighs. It closes the script and sets it aside. Its about to break character and tell you how it really feels. But you’re putting on your backpack. You’re leaving because you don’t care to hear it out.

You’re walking to the gate, and you allow yourself to feel like you’ve won. You needn’t look behind you to know that LA is smiling daggers into the back of your head. Los Angeles is a master tactician, one of the deadliest foes you’ve ever encountered. You merely bumped into Los Angeles, and felt the electric crackle of its horrifying power. You haven't won, because you didn't really attempt to engage Los Angeles. You were afraid to.

Los Angeles clears its throat, you turn to face it- a huge mistake. Los Angeles is thinking at the speed of light, sizing you up, and is going to send you home with a paper cut:

“Thanks for getting her here safely.”