living in a painted paradise

a couple weeks ago when i was in LA i borrowed my brother’s bicycle and rode along the venice boardwalk. i got a pretty palpable feeling of psychedelia down there by the beach, probably some kind of contact high from all the drunk and stoned and insane people who are everywhere on the weekends. the angle of the sun towards sunset was pushing deja vu memories up from the thirty or so years spent every fall in that exact light. they pushed right up to the verge of consciousness, unformed memories like a painting frame around everything i saw, a feeling of stories you know from beginning to end.
LA is more of a trip to me each time i visit. the architecture, the people, the cars, the restaurants…there is an underpinning of fantasy to almost everything. when i lived there i didn’t recognize it as much. at one point i stopped the bike and looked up and daydreamed. there was a seedy apartment, and a beer company had painted the outside with a tropical south american tableau. i was in that weird mindstate where for about five minutes i lived an entire adult lifetime in that apartment, with the window set in the middle of an imaginary painted thatch beach umbrella, frozen permanently in time at picture-perfect tequila-orange-juice-grenadine-colored beer o’clock sunset. i stared up at the cracked cottage cheese ceiling lit from the street by the weak yellow sodium lamps, closed my eyes and hallucinated myself into a siesta on the deck chair painted on the flipside of the wall my head was resting against. it was a russian doll existence, a shitty apartment core in a hyperstylized tropical shell, all wrapped in david lee roth’s “i wish they all could be california girls” video on rollerskates.
my cell phone, ringing “who killed bambi,” snapped me out of it.

and no, this is not to be construed as a premonition of things to come.






One response to “living in a painted paradise”

  1. halle Avatar

    “There oughta be a law against Southern California.”

    -Terry Allen

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