When I think of L.A. I think of things that are no longer there.
John Fante’s Bunker Hill boarding house,
The crumpled slips between the wooden seats at Santa Anita racetrack,
Where Bukowski cursed his way through another weekday afternoon.
The marble fireplace where Scott Fitzgerald stood,
In the rented Hollywood home where he tried to recharge his life – and where he lost it.
That strange bright emptiness – a great unease – that Joan Didion lived in and wrote about.
The last is still there, high above Eagle Rock Boulevard, where I walk, remembering.
All of these people wrote, and lived and drank and fought, against it. And for what?
The dust, the heat, the dry air, the lure and the promise and the tiredness, are too great to overcome.
Not that we should stop trying.