Friday, May 22, 2009
Time Has No Meaning in L.A.
Today is yet another sunny day. Sure, there were a few clouds this morning, but of course, they are starting to disappear, and by 2:00 in the afternoon, the sky will be completely clear of everything--but the sun. The sun.
The sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun.
It has a megalomaniacal dominion of the sky. I can't escape it. It is constantly stalking me, the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun the sun...
Don't worry, I'm not going all Edgar Allen Poe on yo' ass. This posting won't go postal. I'm not going to write a cheap imitation of Poe's deliciously psychotic poem, "The Bells," renamed "The Sun."
It's just I feel that 9 months of pure sun, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, with no real change in the weather, with no seasons... well, it gets oppressive.
I never dreeeeeeamed I would ever be complaining of such a thing when I lived in Manhattan.
In NYC, the weather almost always harasses you... tempting you to endure the meteorological bullshit no longer, and move back to wherever you came from. It's oppressive. You freeze in the winter and sizzle in the summer. Spring and autumn are very brief. They come and go in the blink of an eye, giving you hardly any respite from the temperature extremes. The humidity is often at steam room levels. The rain can come at any time. Even if you wake up and the sky is completely blue, you had better take a compact umbrella with you, just in case... it may hail by rush hour. And did I already mention the winters? Don't make me start on the winters...the 5-month winters... the snow, the sleet, the ice, the sludge, the bells the bells the bells the bells the bells the bells the bells the bells the bells....!!!
Am I coming across as, not only a Poe wanna-be, but also as someone who is never satisfied?
Look, I don't want the weather to be hideous, like New York's. Honest I don't. I'd just like a few cloudy days. Some completely gray days. It doesn't have to rain. Just a change in the sky's palate to remind me that time EXISTS, that it has meaning, that each day is unique, that it's not one long day separated by 280 nights.
I just don't feel that I'm very productive here. I'm not as industrious as I was in NYC. I don't get as much done. And it's not just me. I am certain that it's not just me.
This was solidly confirmed a few weeks ago when I met a Lebanese filmmaker, a very talented young director. He divides his time between Beirut, Paris and Los Angeles. He told me that he loves Los Angeles, but after 6 months or so, he feels the need to go to Paris "Where it can rain sometimes."
(Ah, what a life... to be able to escape to Paris whenever you want a little rain)
In L.A., he said, the constant sun and lack of seasons makes him less productive, and less likely to meet deadlines, his projects don't get completed as efficiently here as they do in Paris or Beirut "Where there is weather."
Like me, the constant sun in L.A. gives him the illusion that he has more time to get things done, and he tends to procrastinate. The whole time he was telling me this I was saying, "Yes! YES! I know EXACTLY what you are talking about! You are precisely phrasing how I feel! Thank God I'm not alone in this!"
I know I'm not alone, because it's not just productivity that is affected. People here are major flakes. They forget about dates they have with you. They stand you up. They arrive late. You'll be sitting in the cafe, wondering where they are, because you were supposed to meet for brunch at noon and it's now 12:45, and you call their cell, and they'll say in a lackadaisical voice, "TODAY was the brunch? Aw, sorry, man! I'm in my car right now, on the way to Vegas!"
This has happened to me TWICE, by two different people. I kid you not (well, the other person was on his way to San Diego).
I guess I just have to accept that this goes with the territory when living in SoCal. Everything comes at a price: the weather is pure paradise, and the payback is that you are less productive, and people flake on you.
But hey: I'm working on MY part of the problem. I made a vow that I would be more productive with my writing, and write in this blog EVERY DAY. And so far, I have, from my first posting, on May 13. And so far, it has been sunny every day since May 13.
So now, instead of quoting Poe, I will quote Shakespeare: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."
The fault, dear Larry, lies not in the sun, but in thyself, that thou art a slacker. So stoppeth complaining about the gorgeous weather, and get thy L.A. ass in gear.