Crossing the Streets in Los Angeles

Vermont and Burns Avenues, Los Angeles

It’s a moment of suspense, as we reach a place where our eyes waver, and where our hearts seem to stop in their tracks. In a city rushing like this one, it even feels like a dangerous act, to stand still in the middle of traffic. Before a flaming swath of footsteps trampling through the road, we risk being overtaken. And yet, in the midst of the crowd, there lies another appointment for us to meet, beyond what’s scheduled in our calendar.

As we filter through the streets like ants through crevices, there is something divine at work. On the one hand, we reflect the tiniest specimens that make up the universe, while on the other, we reflect new worlds within it, filled with new possibilities.

Suddenly, then, going through the day isn’t just about arriving somewhere on time, but about being alive in a world that doesn’t always exactly feel like it’s living.

At this point, the strangers around us aren’t so strange, but they’re the closest thing to family outside of our actual families. In the midst of an earthquake or some other catastrophe, they’d be the closest people to fight through the apocalypse with.

The ground then becomes fragile.

In the midst of the great inevitable catastrophe — of death and ruin — where do we draw the line between saving others, and saving ourselves?

For yours truly, feeling for others is as natural as breathing, or opening my eyes in the morning, and not because it’s as if we’re all made of the same flesh and bone, but because we are all made of the same flesh and bone.

In my heart, I want all of us to live triumphantly, indelibly, and indefinitely.

The truth though, is that regardless of who’s saved or not: everything has to end, and that before everything ends, everything has to fall apart.

This is where it gets strange, since on most days, Los Angeles feels like the exact opposite of a moment in time and space, as if the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory have always stared out at the stars as they do tonight.

Yet these places have only been a part of the world as long as I’ve known it.

But as we’ve each suddenly appeared to cross paths at a certain intersection of time and space, at another intersection, we have to go our separate ways from one another. We also have to suddenly disappear, too, as if to go back to the untraceable time and space from where we came, as everything else does.

After all, if there’s one thing the people of L.A. should know, it’s that even a city of stars can’t last forever. All stars are made to shine, and then to burn out and vanish.

And while the death of a star may seem tragic, it’s also a marvelous spectacle to imagine.

The death of a star is the birth of new worlds; and if it wasn’t for the stars that erupted across the skies before ours, we couldn’t be here now, in between clouds, meteors, and the countless other matter which makes up the galaxy we occupy, which itself lies amid billions of other galaxies!

Every street and boulevard, then, and every palm tree, and all the squirrels who burrow through them, and the people who adore them, all of us, whether we’re driving at 95 miles an hour, or waiting for the bus late at night, and whether we’re on our way to eat with our loved ones, or to rest our bodies after a long day at work — no matter what or where we are — we all have to go, and to keep going.

No matter how much we’d like to resist the movement, the moment has to pass: I have to realize that I’m standing in the middle of traffic, and that no matter how beautiful it might appear, I can’t get lost in its brilliance indefinitely.

When I write, however, I can crystallize the moment for someone other than myself; I can take the brilliance I see, and chuck it out into the universe like a satellite in search of other intelligence.

There’s something timeless and spaceless about this. As temporary as we are, all the evidence of our collective existence so far points to our ability to make indefinite things, or at least, to somehow be a part of the indefinite, no matter how uncertain the next day or next part of our journey may seem.

I let the moment pass, then, to get to my scheduled appointment. I go with the flow, becoming one with the swath of footsteps.

But in accepting the existence of the appointment beyond the everyday, and in sharing it with the people of JIMBO TIMES, I hope to pass it onto someone else, who will also pass it on to someone else, so that we can each keep ebbing with the flow, knowing that everyone of us is doing exactly our part, and quite brilliantly, at that.

With more soon,



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Born and raised in the Los. Los Cuentos. J.T.

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