Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 1

Today was an important flash through time and space, though one that began much differently from the day before, which now feels like something from a lifetime ago.

In the early morning I got up and almost immediately knew that I needed to show my body some care. It was due time. Perhaps two months, even, since I’d picked up the weights at home in the living room to work out my biceps, and since I’d done my sit-ups from the ground up for my abs.

The whole workout took me ten minutes more than an hour, and by the last round with the weights, I felt the iron ebbing heavily into the fiber of my whole being. But the relief from that pressure when I put the weights down was effervescent. It was uplifting. I let go of two months and more.

After the workout, I delved into a  fruitbowl that mom had blessed the center of the kitchen table with. I didn’t need much more then.

After slices of mangos and oranges and melons wet my tongue, I knew I simply needed to walk to complete the self-care, though I had no idea just where I’d walk to. Outside it began to sprinkle.

As rain shone through the window I took a moment to pause and get through just a handful of more pages for Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace. I’m now just 30 pages away from putting the Russian ghost down for good.

Then, finally, when the rain let up some, I tied my shoelaces, said my parting words, and made my way out to the great unknown.

I’d walk all the way up to Echo Park, which glistened after the rain, and after which seeing I’d walk back from. The path would be a stretch of just about five miles, but it was enough to fill two hours and more. The path remained with me through the afternoon.

By evening as I planned for the next morning I realized something: I am increasingly prepared for this next chapter with Los Angeles. I will give it my all. Tomorrow, I finish War & Peace.



In It to Win Los Angeles

Wilshire Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue; L.A., CA

I pedal my way down Wilshire Boulevard on my bicycle and think of the day that the Olympics return to Los Angeles. In 2028, I will be 37 going on 38 years of age.
Then I find my bus stop, wait for the one that goes up Vermont, and once it arrives board my bicycle onto the carrier and then myself on for the ride. On being seated I start to fidget with my phone, and there are so many things I’d like to go over.

For a moment I think of the gravity of the LCD screens today, that is, in how absurdly I depend on them from minute to minute, but once I find the Chess app a moment later, I connect to the one-minute lightning round and begin to hammer away at the screen under the sixty second time limit set for players. Just after the game ends, I go in for a second, but not without another pause first: I’ve got a book in my backpack, and it’s supposed to be a really good one, but why go through the motions when I’ve got all my entertainment in front of me on the screen?

Eventually twelve or so minutes through Vermont pass and I close in on my stop; I slide the phone into my pocket, make my way towards the entrance of the bus, and once the driver breaks dash past the entry doors just before the next flock of passengers file their way in to unload my bike.

Just as the final passenger taps their card to filter inside, my bicycle is unloaded, and I lift up the carrier to return it to its original position. I then wave thanks to the driver, mount back onto the bike’s seat, and pedal on towards the final leg of the journey.

It’s just a few minutes from home then, but as a vibrant breadth of air envelops me through my ride I realize it’s another summer day in Los Angeles and that I just might want to stay outside a bit longer. First though, I’ve got to get back in for some of the day’s last tasks.

On arriving back to headquarters, there lies the other screen; the one of my laptop. I know that I’ve got to reply to an email, or two…but then there are so many other tabs I’ve also got open. I seal the laptop shut, scurry over to the kitchen, and figure I’ll take care of what’s left after a couple of quesadillas.

There is much to do this summer, but not without much concentration. And as the wonder of brilliant daylight threatens to outshine the urgency of the times, I’ve got to remind myself: persistence is still key, and so it’s with persistence that I pedal onto these next tasks.

But I know I’m not the only one taking it all on.

So then, let’s make it happen Los Angeles,