Tuesday, June 29, 2004

A World Away from Carmel

Los Angeles is wearing me out. Even though I have lived here for almost 4 years and have been aware almost all of that time how soul-less this city can be, it's just now starting to really catch up to me. I'm being affected by it and that has to stop. Last night I went to do some shopping after work. That in itself was stressful enough, as even doing something as simple as parking at the market is an ordeal during the post-work scramble. Then on my way home from the store, I was nearly ploughed over 3 separate times by idiots in their embarrassingly oversized vehicles who could easily crush my only slightly oversized vehicle as if it were tinfoil. Anything you may have heard about Los Angeles being land of the laidback and happy is an enormous joke. There's no sense of politeness or etiquette here on the roads or elsewhere -- when I finally managed to get out of my car down the block from my apartment, I was heckled by a truck packed full of skeevy 40 year olds as I scurried home, scowling so as to deter them as much as possible from leering at me. It makes me feel hateful, and I am not a hateful person. But, oh man, the resentment I have building for this place where I live...

This past weekend Gym and I drove up to northern California, which is quite possibly my favorite place on earth so far. The drive up was extremely taxing for a variety of reasons that were completely out of our control, but as soon as we arrived in Carmel, all that stress was quickly forgotten. It wasn't just because Carmel is so enchanting (although it is) or because the landscape is so utterly lovely (although it is), but because it's CIVIL. It's SANE. There are no stoplights in the town, only crosswalks, and when you attempt to walk across the street, the oncoming cars will ACTUALLY STOP FOR YOU. This is something that doesn't happen in LA very often, if ever. People here would run you over if it meant they could make it to Starbucks before the morning rush. It's unreal.

I'm starting to realize why it is that I am so desperately tired all the time. It's because 75% of my daily activities are huge struggles. Everything from getting money from the ATM to washing my car is made so complicated here. Perhaps most people don't notice these things or aren't bothered by them, but I'm naturally a very high stress kind of girl, so anything adding to that stress just gets hugely multiplied, whether it should or not. It's only when I take time out to do something small like walk up to the farmer's market on a Sunday morning that I feel much peace here. I'm okay with this in theory because I believe that life is in the details and in blissfully languishing in small moments. But in reality, I have a hard time accepting the thought of living too much longer in a place that makes the search for such moments such an enormous undertaking.

No comments: