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.