a bikini, a pool, and a pony.

i think its because i drive each day north on la brea, up over the hill, and then down, and then curvy and straight, and all the while the hollywood sign looms before me. its small and the mountains its mounted on are fuzzy when i set out in the morning, ten miles later its right there, on a hill that starts right soon, just north of hollywood blvd.

its a long ten miles. it can, on some miserable bad mornings like this one take an hour (yes an hour. that's a six minute mile. in a car. there are people who could beat me on foot). and thats a long time to ruminate on such an icon.

so, after all this time, i have become a little attached to it. it was such a nonentity when i grew up because, really, when was i out here? why, when one is in santa monica, would one ever venture so far east as hollywood?

and i still feel that way, a little. i still never come out here at night, or on weekends.

i just drive here every weekday. and then home. toward hollywood, and then back again.

and i like taking la brea (means "the tar") cause i pass so many different places, so many different neighborhoods (seriously. it goes from african american, to hispanic, to i don't know what, really, to midtown, to hasidic jewish, to west hollywood, to almost rich hancock park. yes, in ten miles)...and there i am in my little car, looking around.

it makes me like california.

i've always liked california. i've always been nostalgic about my upbringing. there was, and is, a palpable diversity here that i love. and thusly, a possibility of anything happening at any time. the melting pot boiling over, so to speak.

have you heard, you friends in other places, about the high school kids marching on downtown la the past couple of days? its mostly latino youth, marching in protest to the house immigration bill. they have been out there, in tens of thousands, each day since friday. high school kids. junior high school kids. the kids from fairfax high took the freeway to downtown. on foot.

and yes, there's a tinge of "isn't it great to ditch school?" but the news is doing a good job of getting past that and these kids are talking about their parents, illegal, working 2 or 3 jobs, in danger of being deported and/or convicted of a felony for merely being here. they are, once they get the whoops and hollas out of their system, literate and articulate and vehement. they amaze.

even our mayor, antonio (who i am on a first name basis with mostly because i like him so much, but also because i don't know how to spell his last name), is proud, although he wants them to go back to school, because it wasn't so long ago that he was in high school and walked out. same cause. 20 years ago.

"si se puede!" they chant. yes we can. just like they did for cesar chavez.

only now they're spreading the word via myspace and text messages. i love these kids.

i dunno. after it all, i like it here a lot more than i thought i would. i like that you can't see the end of this place. i like how it goes on and on. i like that it can be pouring in inglewood and sunny in hollywood. i like that fourteen year olds can walk on the freeway. i like that, once upon a time, i had a pony and a pool, and they were both made out of plastic, and i was on top of the world.


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