L.A.’s streets in the early evening are curled into misty shadows. Once again I walked through the city, moving to the drum of its dimmed pulse. I know this is a privilege that not just everyone gets to enjoy.
A friend asked me earlier today how I’ve been getting through the times, and I responded that I’ve been reading, and writing. Then repeating. During this process it’s become more clear to me how over the course of these last few years, as I’ve picked up my smartphone more frequently, I’ve picked up my paperback and hardcover books less and less.
This has been obvious enough of a case for most everyone, but through the course of the quarantine season, I’ve seen only more clearly how work and school and the rest of my time dashing through L.A.’s intersections have divided me in so many different directions. The smartphone became a way to bridge it all together.
That is, until now, when in lieu of these most recent events, my phone has become less of a necessary bridge. While I still need to set my reminders, I don’t need to rely on the screen for them. And while I still have appointments, I take them one day at a time.
In these times, Jimbo Times: The L.A. Storyteller has been the more critical connection–my daily reminder–or my way to remain not only in the loop, but to become even more ensconced within my community and culture.
Since so many of my daily treks across the road have vanished, I’ve gotten back to my reading goals in a way that seemed virtually out of reach only a month ago. In the first week of the shutdown, at long last, I finished Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace. Today, during this third week, I finally got past 600 pages of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Almost in celebration, I published an “early” review (or is that a critique) of Infinite Jest on the site, the first review in months for the blog.
At this rate, if I’m able to continue my sudden return to the classics, maybe I can finally get back to Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, not to mention W.E.B. Du Bois’s Reconstruction. These are books that have sat on my shelf for years now, but which at this particular juncture, for all intents and purposes, I can see and pick up again with refreshed eyes.