19 September 2008
When I get back to Yvonne and Ed’s at night, I’m completely exhausted, especially if I’ve been biking/busing/railing into Hollywood or elsewhere . It’s partly why I’ve gotten behind on these blog entries. Not including the sojourn into Hollywood, getting home means navigating the tourists on Hollywood Boulevard (not as bad as Times Square, thankfully), taking my bike up and down the stairs of the subway stations, a 45-minute bus ride aboard the Rock-Hard Nipples express, and then the 20-30 minute bike ride back to the house. Honestly, by the time I get to my room, it’s an effort just to take off my pants.
It’s not just the physical energy required to keep moving forward and stay upright, but the mental energy expended to stay safe and in one piece. There are terrible drivers everywhere, but simple mathematics denotes there are more in a city the size of Los Angeles, which adds a new dimension of stress into my daily goings-on. There are cars roaring out of driveways, cars approaching stop signs (and crossing the crosswalk lines, mind you), doors opening into the bike lane RIGHT as I’m passing (of course), cars that start to drift your way when riding in the street. My personal favorite is when I’m riding in the street, and the driver in a car that’s about to pass me LAYS ON THE HORN to let me know they’re there. Yeah, thanks for that. Once I’ve recovered from cardiac arrest, I will make sure not to veer into your driving space, asshole.
Wow. That’s a little out of turn for me. Road rage much?
It’s not just drivers, either. There are narrow sidewalks, grates, mailboxes, transit stops, trash cans, broken glass, 8” curbs, dogs on leashes, dog poo (at least I hope it is dog poo… eeew), baby strollers, restaurant chairs, people darting out of store fronts, gaping holes in the concrete, school girls swinging their backpacks, low hanging tree branches, tourists gawking at the Hollywood Walk of Fame… I could go on. I’m getting a serious core workout with all the damn bobbing and weaving I have to do. There are also those people wandering aimlessly with no concept that other sentient beings exist in the world, or those pedestrians who stare right at you as you’re approaching and then flat-out decide it is too much effort to move that whole 6 inches to the left or right to make passing easier. Yes, the world is filled with love. I also enjoy those people I am in plain view of for hundreds of feet, but they’re on their cell phones talking to their agents or their botox specialists or ordering a pizza for all I know… anyway, their eyes are glazed over so they don’t see me until I’m 10 feet in front of them. Then, they freak out like I’ve just materialized out of a wormhole or something. There are many people living in their own little universes…
I’m also amazed at what I see some other cyclists doing. Talking on their cell phones and/or texting… both of which are illegal when operating a motor vehicle here in California, but apparently it is acceptable to operate your bike through rush hour traffic and participate in these activities. I don’t know how they even do it. I can’t even use my Verizon GPS service without lodging my cell phone into the straps of my bike helmet. I look like a Cyborg from Star Trek with the phone fused to my skull. Still, I feel it is important to have my hands free to operate certain vital bike features like, say, steering. And brakes.
The day was relatively uneventful otherwise. I successfully navigated myself into West Hollywood to meet Darrell at a Coffee Bean. He had some mail to hand-off to me, so we sat there and chatted a while. Afterwards, I was supposed to go to a movie with my new friend Doug, but the weather was TOO gorgeous to sit inside at a movie. (Speaking of which, I STILL have not seen The Dark Knight. Can I still be a screenwriter in Hollywood if I’ve not seen that?) We walked around WeHo for a while, grabbed some dinner and checked out a bookstore. Very low-key, but it really was a beautiful night. Both Darrell and Doug mentioned that this is one of the best times of year. Warm, but not muggy, and a cool gentle breeze. Brrr. I might have to get out my long sleeve T-shirts soon.