I have had a torrid love affair with Los Angeles since I was nineteen years old. We have had the tumultuous tangles of any infamous Hollywood marriage, with stops and starts, screaming infidelities, tearful goodbye’s, and the eventual “yes, I will take you back again” returns. In many ways I feel like a grown-up child of the city, as well.
The conflicting imagery of lover and child, like some kind of virgin and whore push-and-pull dichotomy, match up with the love and the hate I have felt about the city, and within its city borders. I have scars that will be with me forever that I suffered in some of her dark corners and alleyways. I’ve had kisses in stairwells and on the other side of “no tresspassing” signs, watched the sunrise from the tops of train tunnels, and lost a significant part of me on a seemingly innocuous residential side street.
I have been innocent and fallen far in Los Angeles. I have had my heart shattered, as well. Sometimes I think it is part of the pink-grey smog in the sky, or perhaps it was swept away in the Santa Ana winds, or washed out off the Santa Monica pier.
This city is one of angels and demons, lovers and liars, survivors and tragedies. I think I have parts of all of her inside of me. Some nights, in those stark middle hours of sleeplessness, I think I bleed her stories/my stories right out of me.
Angeles :: Elliott Smith