Los Angeles, the place of my birth 73 years ago, is a place where driving is a sport. But, the smog of my memory is mostly gone and all the cars are new except for the ones driven by the nine thousand people living in their cars. I quickly found out to stay away from the coast where the rich people seem in constant consternation with the poor. The police are tough and if you park in the wrong place overnight might find a lock on your wheels. Towards the end of my first day I was so rattle that I drove north of Santa Monica where I had seen many RVs parked along Highway One skirting to coast.
It was fifty years ago, but L.A. is the only place where I have ever been arrested—and for having long hair. I was in jail for two weeks before coping a plea resulting in being ejected from the county. Now I was back, but I wanted to stay clear of the police. I thought I would be able to view the sunset but there were clouds on the horizon. I stood between my car and the mountain opposite the sea, and said the afternoon prayer. Just as I finished, someone pulled up behind me and bumped into my car. A young man jumped out of his car, perfuse with apology but no damage had been done.
Seeing the prayer book in my hand, he realized I was Jewish and so was he. Suddenly we were great friends. So I asked him, where should I go. Go to the Valley, he said, that is where the Jews are. That is how I found myself in NoHo (North Hollywood) where the poor creative live. Finally I had found my place. I put into GPS a kosher restaurant and shortly I was being dined with an amazing meal. I did not need to eat for another 24 hours. For years I had been vegetarian because I do not cook and there is no kosher food where I have lived for decades.
I joined a 24 hour gym and just like that, moved in to L.A. Also, this just happens to be the area teeming with comedy clubs. I was going to go and perform open mic but my GPS stopped working and I found myself lost in the city. By the time I found my where out, it was too late. But I am pretty happy with the way things worked out. I have an old time Iranian friend who lives by the coast and has invited me for the Shabot. It is a shock, coming from the hills of Oregon into the big city, but it is also exhilarating and I am excited about my new beginnings.
Life is exciting when it just happens; creativity explodes—there is something about the process of writing that makes moving a necessity. I just keep trying to remember, I am walker moving through those standing. I am a free radical, the source of all diversity.