There’s something undeniably jarring about rain in Los Angeles. It’s as if the purpose of the city has fallen to the wayside and all inhabitants are forced to acknowledge their humanity and the fact that a world exists outside the car window. The veil of sunshine has dropped to the floor and your creaking windshield wipers perform their duty. A man huddles beneath the lip of the roof, illuminated by the neon “cocktails” sign above and the glowing gas prices in the distance. The monotony of the buildings lining the wide boulevards echoes itself for miles; the architectural nonchalance of a city built without a basement.
My mind wanders; over mountains, down rivers, trudging across massive plains, lingering in cities, landing at the other edge, the eastern edge. The colors dull and brighten and the land takes a deep, yogic breath. The bridges rise and fall again, carrying me home; swept past tired, old buildings, rumbling underneath it all in the warm tunnels, the maze and emerging again, back at square 2B. Somehow always back to 3rd street, where the rain was just rain and the people, people, the humanity stuffed into the pockets of their jackets and no windshield wipers to rust, just stale, comfortable air. There’s no signs for the cocktails, no neon, only milling crowds flocking to never-empty corners and green street signs adorned with familiar names and numbers. The faces you can’t forget, the people who are just this very moment, forgetting your face and the tone of your voice, letting you be forgotten, left a vague memory, stuck in the muted LA rain with only your windshield wipers.