Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Have you seen them? They're everywhere. They look like little black bags. And they tell a story, each and everyone. Because we've all had a little black bag. Or have known people that have had them. And each of them hold a story. They tell a tale.

They look like little black bags. But they should look like photographs. Photographs of beautiful and far away places. Or maybe photographs of home. A home you haven't been to in a very long time. They look like little black bags, but they should look like somewhere you want to go. Or somewhere you never want to go to again. Because that's what you will find in little black bags. You'll find people wanting to escape. You'll find escapism inside little black bags. Just take a look. There's nothing in there? Look deeper.

Have you ever been to that liquor store on the corner? The little liquor store on the corner. If you haven't, you've at least seen it. There's one in every town. And if there isn't. There's one not far away. They are easier to find outside of the suburbs. But of course, you probably already knew that.

And when you leave the little liquor store on the corner, with whatever spirits you'll consume, or with whatever spirits that will consume you, what do they put it in?

Little black bags.

It's the same with sex shops. I wouldn't know personally. But I've seen the people leaving them, and going in. Back and forth they go. Each one trying to escape. They enter empty handed, and they leave with little black bags. Just like the liquor store. Everyone wanting to escape. Everyone with a different poison. Everyone with a different spirit.

Why little black bags? What's the significance? Have you ever wondered? I have. And I think I know the answer. It's so you can maintain some type of dignity. Or perhaps, discretion is the reason? I think it's both. Because inherently, we don't want people knowing our business. We don't want strangers to see our mode of escape. We have to hide our spirits until we get home. And then, they can completely devour us. But until then, the store owners assist us. They assist us, and our spirits, by hiding them from the people outside. They hide our spirits in little black bags. It's not that they care for you. But they understand. Because at the end of the day, they'll be leaving their job to go back home. And most likely, they'll be leaving with a little black bag too.

Little black bags tell a story. Each and every one. Some happy, some sad. Regardless of the differences, they share a common thread. Escapism. Little black bags hide our sins from the rest of the world. And you can tell alot about the shape of things where you live by how many little black bags you see.

I see them everywhere.

They don't need to hide. Because they aren't alive. They don't have feelings. They're just cloaks, little black cloaks. Little black bags are little black cloaks that we put on our spirits. And when we get home, we take their little cloaks off. And then, our spirits can consume us.

We live in a world full of little black bags, floating in the air, getting stuck in the trees. These little black bags float freely. They go where they want to go. But they are always seen. They have to be! Or else we wouldn't know that there are problems all around us. Or else we wouldn't know that there are sick people all around us. Or else we wouldn't know that sickness is in our world. And that sickness is all around us.

We live in a world that is full of little black bags. They are everywhere. You can't see them? They mostly come out at night. But I see them during the day now too. I see them all the time. Morning, noon, day and night, I see little black bags.

I see them everywhere.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I drive the streets of Los Angeles on a nightly basis. Not for fun. This is work. It's a beautiful city when the sun goes down, and the monsters aren't as easily seen. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of monsters that roam the streets of LA at night. But they aren't as frightening as the ones you see during the day. Why? Because you can't see in their eyes, the window to the soul, if only they had one left.

The monsters I speak of don't drink blood. They aren't malformed. No, these monsters are the creation of broken dreams, unfulfilled hope, false promises, and spiritual ruin. They are the poor, the hungry, the left behind. What's left of broken dreams and the harsh reality of the Hollywood lie? Monsters.

Some say that LA is a beautiful city. I agree, but with a stipulation. The sun has to be down for this city to truly show it's beauty. During the day, it's a city filled with distractions. First and foremost, traffic. Unless you've lived here, or have driven through, you'll never really know the serious implications behind the word traffic.

And then, there's chaos. Los Angeles is a city filled with chaos. You're never more than ten minutes away from hearing a scream, a shouting match, a horn blaring, a car skidding, a police helicopter buzzing overhead, or loud music. And if that weren't enough, the chaos has it's own soundtrack. And that soundtrack is traffic. Only this traffic is moving. There's a steady stream of sound made by a multitude of vehicles. And each one of those vehicles is in a hurry. Why? Because most of them have either been stuck in Los Angeles traffic, are heading into it, or are trying to escape it.

And there are monsters. Why are the monsters scarier during the day? Because, you can see into their eyes. "Always make eye contact." How many times have you heard that? Too many times to mention, right? And there's a reason why it's such a common phrase. Because when you look into someones eyes, you can see their story. And the story you'll find in the eyes of the monsters is a sad one. And most people in LA don't have time for empathy. But apathy, well, it's a way of life out here. It has to be. Because there are more monsters than gods and people. And no one wants to know the truth that the monsters see. There's no time for that. There's only time for the self. Because Los Angeles is a city full of selfish people. And it's also a city full of gods.

There are gods in Los Angeles. You can see them all around you. They are on buildings. They are on the sides of cabs, and busses. You can even find them at bus stops. They are everywhere, as gods should be. Omnipotent? Not hardly. But they are well travelled and strategically placed so that everyone can recognize them. And so that we all know who to worship. They watch us all. And we serve at their feet. As I drive through the city I see gods and monsters. The monsters are shadows. I often get a glimpse, but quickly turn away. I don't want to see in their eyes. Because I'm at peace in the cloak of darkness midnight provides. And that's the way I like it. But the gods are more obvious. I see them looking at me, from cabs, busses, buildings and bus stops. They are the entertainers and actors with products and propaganda to sell. And I will be there in the theater to worship them, just like the rest of you, because I love my gods. Not because it's what is right. But because I have been conditioned in my faith, starting at an early age, just like you. I'll save you a seat.

Los Angeles is a city full of people worshipping gods. Some of the faithful live here. Many make pilgrimages in hopes to see their gods in the flesh. No, these gods are not in spirit form. These gods are real. These gods are flesh. But in our minds, they are more than that, more than us. And that's why we worship them. Because our lives are much smaller than theirs. And we aren't on posters, billboards, and buildings. But one day, maybe we will be. And then, will we find our peace? Because we all want to be worshipped. We all want to be special. And the only way to have it all, is to be a god. Right?

I don't want to be a god. I just want to drive. I want to drive throughout the city of Los Angeles from dusk til dawn. It is beautiful, and it is destruction. And it is a choice on what end of that spectrum we all fall. I choose beauty. But sometimes, I grow curious about the destruction. So, I wake up early, sometime during the day. And I drive through the city as the sun shines, revealing all the scabs, ugliness, sadness, despair, and worst of all, the traffic. And then, I miss the beauty. I miss the night.