Thursday, March 15, 2007

I love sandwiches...

The organization I work for is in the midst of interviewing candidates to fill a vacancy, all of which (to this day) has been facilitated by me; creating a job posting, combing through candidates, interviews, etc. Today, Dion, a co-worker and interviewer said this about one of the candidates. I’m paraphrasing. “She’s perfect man. She’s from Philly, spent some time in Atlanta and ended up here. This is her home now, all roads led here. She’s always wanted to live in L.A. We take it for granted man… everybody wants to come here. I love L.A., I ain’t even gonna front.”

Me too.

I usually take a shuttle bus to work. I live in the “other Valley” and it takes about an hour to maneuver my way through the 10 West Freeway, past downtown, past Echo Park, and just before Hollywood. We’re not quite downtown, we’re not quite Koreatown, we’re not quite Hollywood, but in every which way we’re very much Los Angeles. Today I missed the bus to work and eventually had to drive… I hate it, by the way; but one must do what one must to earn the chedda yo. Whenever I have the misfortune to drive I at least have the luxury of choosing from a variety of lunch options, my favorite being Vons. Yes, Vons. Why you ask? Ah, the sandwiches.

After ordering my tuna sandwich on ciabatta bread with the works, olive spread and provolone cheese I grabbed a bag of cheese Doritos, a cherry Pepsi and the front page, calendar and sports section of the Los Angeles Times and sat my ass at a picnic-ish table outside. I have unlimited viewing access to the parking lot. It doesn’t sound exciting, but I’ll say this. Everything you ever wanted to know about my city is on blast at this Vons parking lot.

I sit there enjoying my sandwich & chips while trying to keep the Pacific Ocean winds from taking off with pages 7 & 8 of the sports section as I’m trying to decipher UCLA’s chances in the NCAA tournament. We’re about 12 miles inland but the winds feel as crisp as if I were walking the Venice strip with a greasy pizza slice in one hand and my chica’s hand in the other. There are even seagulls chilling there watching me eat. I stare one down wondering if I should toss a piece of bread or cheese at it; they look hungry. I hesitate because if the bastard doesn’t eat it, I’m gonna look like a litter bug and in L.A. you don’t want to be that guy. Seriously, I don’t want 3rd St. and Virgil to start looking like Houston Street in New York City. Fo’ real.

It’s classic L.A. From the Korean girl driving the burgundy Mercedes Benz rocking the 20” Bentley rims to the white boy sporting the Vanilla Ice hair cut while driving a mini-van and strutting around with a Bluetooth earpiece and a non-deserving air of arrogance; clearly a transplant. I watch as this little Mexican girl skips along in what looks like a freakin’ wedding dress – Katt Williams was right, that shit is hilarious to me. I always think of my sisters’ childhood when I see that. I sit in front of this homeless woman and observe (without staring of course) as she thumbs through what looks like an address/composition book. It’s refreshing to know that even in the midst of the electronic age, where our lives are virtual in most ways via myspace, gogofrog, youtube, there are still folks whose lives are completely accessible in a little notebook; albeit the perp being a homeless woman, I don’t care.

I continue to eat my sandwich as some pepperochinis fall on the warm concrete which causes a combination of pigeons and seagulls to quickly gather at my feet the same way little brown kids in East L.A. dive face first below broom stricken piƱatas. Then it hits me, the winds drive the seagulls inland. I should have figured this out right away but I thought about it too much. The city’s always talking; I’m just not always listening.

I finish my sandwich while not having read much of my newspaper because of my parking lot silent sitcom. Again, I love sandwiches. Those made of kids bicycling up and down Fairfax Ave., teenagers running amuck in LaFayette Park, old men feeding the birds at the Santa Monica Pier, 20-somethings revving up quad engines in Montclair, girls like Lisa & friends chomping at Peruvian food in the South Bay, horses running sprints at the San Gabriel Valley foothills, women reading Bukowski’s “Love is a Dog from Hell” with a smirk on their faces and a tear in their eye.

It was a good day to miss the bus.

My girl can attest to this, I’m a brat; I don’t like sharing… but my city? Go ahead and take a bite. “Take a big, bigger bite.” I’d be more than a selfish prick to deprive one from such a tasty, delightful sandwich.


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