This is an update in general of my pervasive and sad but curious thoughts on the world. After the long local confinement that’s been my life for the past almost two years, we finally took a road trip. The truth is, we’ve been terrified of our daughter to the point of not wanting to wander out any further than the city limits of our sleepy big town that is San Diego. The fear has been that she’d crucify us with her undying contempt and disapproval by means of shouting and crying. Be that as it may, we felt that we were finally at a place where we could handle a small trip to LA.
Our beloved love child was great during the trip, so there was definitely no issue there. And while it was awesome to get out of the city, it was even better to get up to LA. Anyone who’s read either of my books will know that both stories were set in LA. There’s good reason for that. LA is an amazingly vibrant, exciting, and powerful city with a huge culture and mix of interesting people of worldly elite. I love LA. And, as I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the attitude that San Dieogoans have towards LA, in general, but I will address that piece separately.
While we were hanging out with my cousins at a park, my babygirl was playing in the playground. My wife and I watched proudly as she maneuvered through the play structure when a few of her peers wandered on to the sand. I said to my wife, “here is the real test. The LA kids don’t mess around, they will test her.” My wife smiled nervously, and while she generally knew what I meant, I of course went on to explain.
I have spent a lot of time in LA, growing up here in San Diego. Most of my family lives there, so I spent a lot of time as a youth there. Plus, it’s only a two hour drive, and if you’ve ever seen the traffic on the 5 freeway between LA and San Diego, you know that it is as heavy as it gets. But, even though the city is so close, it is so far, and also so much faster than San Diego. You grow up fast in LA. The fit are simply more fit and the weak do not last long. I know it’s the same in most big cities, but through my experiences I know that San Diego is a lot further behind in that sense.
When I was a kid, I’d get to LA and the kids my age were doing things that the older kids were doing. They were smarter, had quicker wits, knew all the cool shit out there, dressed cooler, talked cooler and even listened to cooler music. And I know that everyone pretty much learns the same things over time, but they just learned them faster in LA. And everything is magnified more too. Flaws are magnified and exploited and virtues are magnified and reveled at too. You gotta have tough skin and you can’t be afraid of the spotlight. In San Diego, you can get away with being a weirdo; well maybe just being a bit off, but in LA the kids will call you out on that shit. You might be the coolest in your school in San Diego, but when you get to LA, you aren’t so special.
Another thing I just thought of is food. In a big city you can keep the night going, but that’s pretty hard to do in San Diego. Even when I lived in Toronto, I could get chinese food or pizza at three in the morning. You think I can get anything like that here? Hells no. I gotta hit up Walmart for some frozen pizza if we get a late craving. We did that at least once too, on the way back from the one short strip of clubs that makes up San Diego’s club scene. Don’t get me started on that either, because once you start going to the clubs here on the regular you just run into the same old people over and over. The club scene in Toronto was off the chain, and the music was way way better. Listening to San Diego radio stations has driven me to talk radio. Can you say, put on top 40 and hit the repeat button?
That’s the gist of it anyways, and that’s part of the allure of big dynamic cities over the sleepy, slow life of smalltown, USA. It’s way bigger than that, of course, and to really cut to the core of it as Baxter would, you’d have to dig a lot deeper into it. It would require more analysis, including psychological and sociological impacts, economic and environmental impacts, industries, politics, race and culture demographics, climate, geographic topology, equatorial relationships, and so on and so forth. Alas, I try to keep my puff pieces light. Let’s just say that life in the big cities and fast and exciting, whereas life in the small cities and towns is a lot slower and mellow. Which one is better is not the point. At any point in one’s life, one or the other might be the best medicine.
Oh yeah, and I guess I never got to the hot girls farting part of this piece. I guess I’m saving that for next time. For now, just try to imagine.