I walk to work – This in Los Angeles is practically unheard of, yet here I stand, one of the fortunate few. I make my way up to Wilshire Blvd, pass the bus stop where the silver-haired man in uniform waits for his ride, and wait the ridiculous amount of time it takes the light in front of Barney’s to change so that I can cross over the road. I stare at the ever changing display window on the corner of Camden and Wilshire as I wait. Always something interesting and unusual to see. During the holiday season they even had a Minnie Mouse cartoon to keep me entertained.
I make my way up Dayton, passing by the Grill on the Alley and the regular food drop off. Crates of sodas and boxes of bread line the street. It’s one of those famous LA Power Lunch places, but at 9am, it just looks like another run of the mill restaurant serving Diet Coke and french bread rolls.
I walk past Louis Vuitton and the window washer. He washes those windows everyday (such luxury) and I smile as I walk past. We know each other now as members of the same morning ritual. And sometimes as I pass, I feel a twinge of envy for his job. It has a clear purpose and a definitive goal. But then again, he probably doesn’t get health insurance. He has a friendly face and we regard one another with ease.
Then it’s Rodeo, the infamous fashion boulevard – fake and flashy. Buses of tourists unload in front of me. The stores aren’t open yet, but there they are, getting a jump on their tourist photos. Posing in front of Versace and Tiffany’s. They cluster in groups, occasionally a couple spot me walking, determined, down the road with a fox-shaped mug of coffee in hand and they mutter something in their native language and laugh. I tend to roll my eyes.
The light here has a diagonal crossing, and I regularly cross before it changes, causing even more disbelief and murmuring from the tourists. I am in the final stretch as I approach Beverly, cross the road and make my way to the alley behind Pottery Barn. Just a few doors down and I’m at my office. Key turn, alarm disarm and begin the day’s work.
And so it goes….
*song lyric above from Rilo Kiley