..[Los Angeles without a car, work permit or superpowers]

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lack of Snow

Reason #1021 why I will never be cool in Los Angeles: I have bus-stop sunburn. It’s ninety degrees today, and I am as pink and porcine as an English rose should be.

It’s only ever this hot on the four-bus days, when I have to spend two hours getting from West Nowhere (WeNo) to West Hollywood (WeHo) for a thirty-minute volunteer job. My first blue bus is crowded with perspiring UCLA students, and I sit in the middle of the back seat, wedged between a man wearing a scooter helmet and a Japanese girl in lollipop brights. The bus smells like squashed, overripe fruit, and we are all dozily subdued.



says an printing shop, an enigmatic semi-haiku of menace, and in Little Persia the billboards wish me a


and sell legal counsel.

As usual, transferring to the Metro at Westwood ramps up the lunacy level, and I get on board alongside a man dressed as an vagabond magician -- top hat, black trousers, white puffy shirt, and a hot-pink lint-roller holstered onto his belt. The bus driver honks at a gardener’s truck full of lilies. Beverly Hills is coming to an orchestrated bloom amidst a symphony of palm trees, with bougainvillea playing every other note on the scale of pink: cerise, sakura, baby, fuchsia. The bus is very hot and I think I might be sick.

Why won’t it snow
Like they said it would
What is it that they know
That I really should

whines my iPod, and I think about snow. Snow in Japan, snow at our wedding, Königsallee snow, snow lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns and then

The rooms was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.


*Louis MacNeice, 'Snow' (1935?)

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