Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 44

It’s breathtaking to think that 44 days have whisked past Los Angeles since I first embarked on this writing series. The fact of the matter is that writing daily for a community is something I first envisioned doing many years ago, after I signed up for the New York Times’s newsletter featuring David Leonhardt’s daily musings about the news and American life.

I can also remember when I first mentioned this to someone, a stranger who I’d met at an end-of-the-year gala in none other than downtown Los Angeles. I was there to photograph for the evening, but before starting work, was offered a light meal to help me course through the night’s duty.

At the table when I sat down, I happened to come across the event’s very own local hostess, who would also sit down to an early dinner before overseeing the evening’s schedule. Over the clanks of forks and plates with chicken on each end, I can remember our brief, but lasting conversation. 

The hostess and I talked about the different ways that we found ourselves at the event, and how each of us was doing something we could enjoy while also supporting the special night, even if there was still maybe just a little more we wanted to do. Our conversation then turned to the question of just what that something more was.

When the hostess asked me what it was that I wanted to do, apart from what I just enjoyed, I can remember feeling completely at ease, as if I’d simply been waiting for someone to pose precisely that query. I told her that what I’d really like to do was just write and send all of my musings out for the whole world to see, as David Leonhardt got to do for his paper. I wanted to enjoy the same privilege, but on my side of town in sunny Los Angeles.

The hostess heard me graciously, then replied with a smile, saying,

“Something tells me you’re going to do it.

We then went our separate ways. The hostess went on to make the many guests for the night feel like they were just by home for the evening, while yours truly went on to click that shutter with a thankful smile for each guest who helped me capture a slice of the time. It’s now been almost three years since that night. And this column is the 44th consecutive blog from myself to the world.

But what would you say, Los Angeles, if you were at that table? Would you tell a stranger about dreams for yourself, as if it was just a matter of time?

Something tells me you’ve got to do it.

J.T.

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Rediscovering Los Angeles

It’s true

It might just be a moment

In an ordinary day,

But to me it is an anchor

To hold onto

In a world without a face;

To stop and marvel at

In a tide that’s always rushing,

And to declare

As far as a soundwave can ring:

It’s radiance

It’s truth!

Each time we meet again.