Hollywood doesn’t set you free; she crawls under your skin and into your head. She feeds you her pulse and pulls you into her sun starched rhythm. In Hollywood, there is no such thing as typical, no blueprint or uniform. We are not identifiable. We move slowly but are never settled.
At the junction of Sunset and Poinsettia, I was waiting for the light to change, when a girl on a bike crossed my path. The bike was old-fashioned with big white washed tires, flowing handle bars and a red basket at the front. She peddled slowly, as if she had the whole day to ride aimlessly and contemplate simple things.She wore a big yellow sun hat and a tank top saturated with the sky. The scene would have transported me to calming images of country roads, if it weren’t for her tramp stamp and exposed glittery g-string.
Across the street, an emaciated man with brittle shards of brown hair stopped suddenly and shouted into the ground, holding himself tightly around his middle. He seemed to stop breathing for a few seconds, then leapt into the air and raced off down Sunset, darting around tourists and sidewalk nappers. The girl on the bike didn’t even glance in his direction, just kept peddling further into her own imagination.
A withering woman stood next to me, exhausted, old Hollywood etched into the wrinkles on her face and hands. She smiled at the girl on the bike, remembering her own star lit youth, and watched the dance of the shouting man as if it was something she had seen a million times.
The light changed, I secured my grocery bag on my shoulder and crossed Sunset to walk the 3 blocks home.