October 19th, 2011

The Wonder

In James Ellroy's Clandestine there's a page where a cop on the beat is looking out on a street in Los Angeles. He sees a drug trade go down. He spots a wino that used to be a promising high school athlete. He sees some kids give a bum money to go into a liquor store and buy booze for them. The descriptions of sad things he sees goes on and on. At the end of it he sits back and thinks to himself "My city. My wonder."

In that sentence it's clear that he loves his city no matter what. It is his wonder. And while he doesn't tell you what the beauty is that he sees in L.A. he doesn't have to. It's enough to know that he loves his city - even though he sees it honestly.

That's the beauty of the wonder.

Sometimes it's good to sit back and stop taking the place you live in and love for granted. Recently I had a house guest and as I showed her around Montpellier it brought back to me why I'm here and why I'll stay here.

Yes, the post office sucks.

Yes, everyone drinks too much.

Yes, I've seen friends become sad coke heads.

Yes, lots of people are unfaithful to their partners.

Yes, the electric company is essentially an extortion scheme.

Yes, there are no cops in our area after 6 p.m. and people sometimes get mugged.

Yes, there is racism.

Yes, unemployment is way too high.

Yes, the endless strikes and near riots are a pain in the ass.

But, you know what?

My city. My wonder.


Yes, by all means, when you are involved in an elaborate plot to hide yourself from the authorities do something guaranteed to both bring the FBI to New York and make you now a murder suspect instead of just a missing material witness.


Called Rome Girl in Rome yesterday to tell her that the landlord is apparently going to be replacing all of the windows in our building sometime later this month (she'll be home from Rome by then.).

Rome Girl Reaction: Yay! No more drafts in the winter! Lower electric bill! No more nicotine stained windows! Yay! Puppies! Flowers! Unicorns!

My Reaction: I"m going to have people in my apartment today fucking measuring windows so they can do this next week and don't want people fucking invading my apartment and then they'll probably be here for a day or two fucking putting the new windows in why can't the landlord just fucking leave the apartment alone the fucking windows seem fine to me as they are. Fuck! Death! Destruction! Shit, maybe I'll actually buy that Lou Reed/Metallica album and play it the entire time they are here just so they'll fucking work faster. Bastards!