Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Walk to Work

How many times does one hear that in Los Angeles?

I'm finally getting to the place in life where I can accurately predict some things about myself. One of those things is that I will inevitably become nostalgic about certain things that I either paid little attention to in the moment or that seemed downright unpleasant when they were happening. I walk to work, on average, three or four days a week. I'll take Meridian or Fremont north, crossing over the 110 and making my way through the back streets of South Pasadena. In the heat of the summer, this can be a tiring and sweaty trek, but never unbearable. For a period of maybe five minutes, some time between when the noise of the freeway vanishes out of earshot and a couple blocks before I reach Columbia, I traipse through a little pocket of serenity and can almost forget that I'm walking to work.

But not quite. I often find myself caught up in thinking about how much I don't want to go to work. Or how tired I am. Or how I wished I was doing something more creative. And all the time, I'm surrounded by these beautiful trees: oaks and willows, ginkos, eucalyptus, maples, and the ubiquitous palms that bend over slightly like old men a hundred feet in the air. Who would think that on my route, I see not one, but two gardens planted in the front of somebody's property, right next to the sidewalk? Pumpkins hang down over manicured Bermuda grass; stalks of corn grows mere blocks from one of South Pas' busiest intersections, Mission at Meridian.

And for all the affluence that has accumulated in our fair town, there are these wonderfully decrepit sidewalks that hurl their bony backs into the air, as though they are giving up their last breath. One day, I will miss these sorry sidewalks, and curse the fact that I'm in a car trying to cover ten miles in under sixty minutes. Or maybe I won't. Perhaps my next ten jobs will be somewhere close by, and I'll become the grizzled guy with leathery orange skin and crazy white hair who hangs out at Heirloom and whiles whole days away on the park bench next to the Mission Gold Line Stop.

If I do become that person, make sure to stop and say hello.


Blogger Sarah said...

You are lucky that you get to avoid the lame L.A. traffic. Although, I do find that I walk more now that I live in L.A. because it takes very little mental dialouge to convince myself that I don't want to drive. Walking makes your neighborhood more alive and helps you discover hidden resources that would have never even noticed. Not to mention that walking in South Pasadena is a delightfully dreamlike experience every time. How are we so lucky to live here?

10:52 PM  
Blogger South Pas Blogs said...

You mentioned hidden resources, Sarah. What are some of the discoveries you've made walking around South Pas?

11:27 PM  
Blogger Tommy said...

wow. as a south pas resident who commutes to santa monica to work every day, the idea of walking through south pas to work seems like the greatest of luxuries.

3:09 PM  
Blogger South Pas Blogs said...

Hey, Tommy. Walking to work is definitely something I don't want to take for granted, regardless of how little I actually want to reach my destination.

What have you been up to?

8:35 AM  

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