That’s what I am, though I don’t much feel like it. My Levi’s, always a little too long, drag on the ground in back since I’m too tall for medium height and too short for tall. My Converse All Stars, caked with mud from kicking tennis balls at the dog park. My ubiquitous t-shirt and black hoodie–I have a closet full of them. These are hardly what The Doors had in mind.
I am just another lost angel–city of night.
I’m not what the rest of you have in mind when you think of L.A. either. You’ve all seen the Hollywood version of me. The glowing skin, the big tits, the blonde flowing hair and a smile. That smile. I don’t have that smile. I have a smile, but it’s not the smile you know. It’s not the smile the rest of the world sees. I am not on the billboards. You won’t see me in the glossy magazines.
I try to remember what I thought of those shimmering images before I saw the truth. I haven’t always been an L.A. woman. I was a Boston woman before that and a Detroit woman, too.
I try to remember my impression of L.A. and L.A. women before I became one, but it’s all so hazy. It was too long ago; it’s not new or fresh anymore. I’ve lived in L.A. long enough that it’s a part of me. If I ever leave this sprawling city, I will still be an L.A. woman, at least for a little while, until I become something else.
L.A. isn’t much like the movies, but it never has been. What you see isn’t what you get. There is a reason it’s called movie magic after all.
There aren’t many Raymond Chandlers or Charles Bukowskis in Los Angeles anymore. They left a void of booze, brawls and busty dames that we just cannot fill, even though we try. Sometimes, I wish I lived in Chandler’s Los Angeles, even if it means wearing heels, a hat and doing nothing all day but practicing my smoldering look like Lauren Bacall:
The little girls in their Hollywood bungalows.
I don’t think of myself as an L.A. woman, but then, I don’t often think of myself as a woman at all. My gender doesn’t define me. Really, I only consciously categorize myself as a woman if I’m filling out a form or searching for a public bathroom.
I’m the one with the A shape. That’s where I need to go. That’s as much as I pigeonhole myself.
After a brief fifteen-year temporary arrangement, L.A. still isn’t my city and it never will be; I was not born here. But, we’ve reached a détente. We don’t fight each other anymore. We accept each other as we are. Even though neither the city nor you see me as the type of woman who moves clear across the country to Los Angeles, that’s just what I am, muddy Converse and all.
Just another lost angel in the city of night.