Sunlight and Smog
The screeching of drills and ponding of hammers makes me wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied. I hated the construction in the morning―always at exactly 8am. It meant I would only get four hours of sleep and wake up zombie-like and stupid trying to figure out if there was any activity I could do remotely well in the state I was in. Then I would fall into a deep nap, somewhere around noon, and wake up around 2pm, refreshed but in a world where the day was almost over. Then, I would work well into the night and past the early morning, to make up for the previous ill-timed slumber, and fall asleep around 4am. The drills would start at promptly eight and the cycle would begin again.
Now the construction is only in the afternoon. The late afternoon―usually 2pm, sometimes 12:30. And I’m still filled with useless rage at the noice and the voices coated in Spanish that invade my space and make me question if I’ll ever be satisfied.
When was the last time I was fully functioning in the afternoon? It must have been in Colorado, before I moved to New York and my mind was transported into a different time zone. I remember sun and grass and trees―the only time I was annoyed by noise pollution was when the neighbors “partied” too loud. And the time air was stuck in the pipes and it made an infernal, amazingly loud clash every time I tried to eat or sleep or think. But both problems had a simple solution: Get the landlord.
In Colorado I was never surprised to see the sun, I expected it. The state received 300 days of sunshine out of the 365 in a given year. I always made a point to go out and enjoy it, until I didn’t. Why take advantage of the sun if you know it’ll be there tomorrow? Still, I ran in the morning, biked to the grocery store, walked to class and to the high school where I tutored “at-risk” youths. The sun was always out and still, so much managed to annoy me.
The stores closed at 9pm. The only clubs where an hour away. And if I wanted to get my hair done, there were only few places within the entire state I could go and expect to feel satisfied. And so I knew I needed to leave, to grow and find a place where I didn’t feel everyone was stuck in time, stuck in the enteral sunlight surrounding Boulder, Colorado.
In Los Angels, there’s plenty of sunlight as well as plenty of smog. The city glitters with rhinestones and pyrite. Only the sand has a genuine sparkle, a kiss from whoever decided to put paradise on Earth. But I wouldn’t know much about the beaches in LA. I mostly stayed in bed, indoors, and you slept beside me and held me and for a long time I felt safe and satisfied.
Here’s why I left and here’s what I must say: I couldn’t depend on you to keep me satisfied any more than I could depend on you to keep me safe. For that, I went to the other end of the country. To create my satisfaction and put it on the page. Once I’ve done that, maybe you’ll come back to me. Maybe I’ll let you return.