Saturday, September 26, 2009


The weather holds steady at roughly summertime conditions, but the television tells me that it must be Fall because there are new shows on. My current fave is The Vampire Diaries - for those of you out there who know your Vampire TV History it's like Dark Shadows meets the 3rd season of 90210. So, I'm not sure how anyone drilled into my mind and excavated my deepest hopes and dreams to put on the small screen, but there it is.

In general I don't have much to report, which is in itself distressing. Well, I don't have anything to report on my end. In my friends' lives there have been much, much change. Mostly babies. This is great for me as in general I like babies. There have been a few babies I have met over the years that were total assholes, but they tended to be the exception rather than the rule. I also know a few grown-up babies that are total assholes, but I am not sure that the assholage (pronounced to rhyme with "collage") started when they were infants or as an infantile response to ongoing outside adult stimuli.

I suppose the biggest thing I miss about my East Coast Life is the Fall and the de rigeur falling leaves. This is not an unusual or unique thing; most East Coasters miss seasons that are signified by actual events of nature as opposed to only the seasonal holiday decorations available at the Rite Aid on the corner of Franklin and Western. LA for all of its myriad pleasures tends to seem a bit rick-rack at this time of year, but as someone who spent every winter overlooking a field of snow falling dark at 4pm and wishing it was summer, I'm keeping it in perspective. In a month or two, we Angelenos will be wearing our inappropriately chunky sweaters and scarves, feeling genuinely cold as our blood is thinner than most from months of heat. I'll watch with a combination of amusement, indignation and fear as LA drivers continue to drive 85mph on the 101 even thought it's the kind of January downpour that I know from childhood experience you shouldn't be driving in that way. Snow seems charming to me now, for I have mostly forgotten how it feels in my shoes.

The only thing that happens in LA that parallels the fall of the Autumn leaves back East is how friendship works here. For the most part I have observed that to every season there is indeed a turn. As someone who relishes friendships that unfold over decades, it's something I find distasteful. It might have something to do with the sunshine and lack of natural seasons, I think. Instead of leaves falling from a tree, people seem to shed the friends they no longer need. When you grow up somewhere with a history of Cold Weather, people seem to at least understand being in it for the Long Haul. Something about buckling down and waiting for the sun to come back out seems to do something to the psyche. Babies fall into that as well - in the back of my mind my friends' children that have been born in the fall need a pile of dried apples for the winter or something. But the lack of Winter seems to have done something to people here, or perhaps more specifically, has *not* done something to people here. If you don't have a primal need for community to survive, you tend to throw people away with less thought. It also seems to be related to whether or not your parents divorced, but my data on that is too inconclusive at this point. My parents are still married. It seems to have been what they wanted.

We are lurching through an economic Autumn, this much is sure. Our little wagon train plods along, hoping that there will be a clean stream or brook over the next rise before we have to tell our traveling companions that we really need the water. It may come to that, but I don't think it will. But you will find out who your friends are in that situation, which means that it's a valuable experience. In ye olden days (really olden), betrayal was a dramatic word I would threw around with abandon through gritted teeth as I loudly plotted revenge while pushing my hair back with great purposefulness. Next, I would order a pizza. Then I would nap. Imagine a sort of a slightly older Butters from South Park with a Preppy-Goth thing going on. And an ongoing acne problem and an over-reliance on carbs. Nowadays I skip the plotting and just head for the pizza. I'm no longer crazy enough to actually put any plots in motion, as it requires work and I'm VERY busy watching the new shows. I suppose one of parts of getting older is the realization you were never "betrayed" if someone was an asshole to begin with. Accepting your own poor judgment sucks. Uch.

So as a leaf drifting down slowly from the tree turning all the while (les sanglots longs des violons...), I think I can see things that I didn't see before. Nothing that unusual or dramatic, just a different perspective. Happens to everyone.


In the meantime, I am going now to see a brand new baby that a friend of two decades has just finished manufacturing with her wonderful husband and friend of mine, so that's very exciting. I don't have any dried apples for her, but she'll get whatever else her little heart desires. As a child of Spring (and you don't get anymore "Spring" than my b-day) I'm only following my nature.