Thursday, March 16, 2006

sunny days and grayer nights

On the way into work today I saw him again, the same guy who waits in the Median on this stretch of Glendale Boulevard that cuts through Echo Park. He's got long stringy hair, a perpetually sad face and a yellow dog with a pink eraser nose that's always sleeping at his feet. Today he was holding a sign asking for 25 cents, taking whatever anyone from the line of cars seeking passage between two freeways handed him. I wasn't one of those who gave anything to him. I never have been.

He's been there for at least a year now, maybe two. You lose track quickly, especially among the home-deprived population of the city.

I see a handful of them on the way to downtown...they rarely stay around for long. I guess that sort of goes with the title, the inherent rootlessness of it all where you stay someplace as long as it feels good, or, more accurately, feels less bad. Then, you're gone. I like to think some of the local homeless people I'd see every morning--the sharp tongued old woman whose crinkled cheeks and sunburn looked straight out of South Boston, the cheerful and smiling black woman who called me 'baby' as I walked into the office--had, like the shizophrenic violinist who got his name in the paper found a way off the streets, into some ramshackle apartment that promised, or at least allowed a view of something better.

I don't let myself think about where else they can be. Working and living downtown gets a lot harder otherwise.

At any rate, not to get too 'We Are the World' (I didn't really intend for this post to go this direction when I sat down), but this song's for all of the above and everyone else. It has no real message (it's an instrumental)--in fact it's a pretty grim, cacophanous mess with, to my ears, a wee sparkle of hope buried in the dark background toward the end, but it might not really be there. It seems to fit.

"View of a Burning City," by the Appleseed Cast

More fun tomorrow.


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