I may have claimed victory, finally, in the apartment hunt. I live a good 50 or 60 miles south of where I ultimately needed to relocate, which presented certain challenges in finding an apartment that suited my needs and tastes. Mostly, it meant fighting hellacious traffic both ways because this is, after all, southern California.
Attempting to call listing agents and apartment managers was an infuriating experience. On the whole, they do not answer phones, return calls, or, probably, exist in the actual world but are mere fantasy creatures like the Tooth Fairy. Imagine that you did not actually want to rent your property out to anyone — congratulations, you now know how to behave as an LA apartment manager. It’s no surprise that the apartment I rented was shown to me by a very attentive, smart, responsive and professional individual.
I realized on the drive home from what I hope is my last apartment viewing this year that the whole process of looking for an apartment in LA is like being trapped in an Albert Brooks movie — and I don’t mean Finding Nemo. LA has become a living embodiment of Poe’s Law — you can no longer distinguish it from a parody of itself. It’s absurd, sometimes surreal, and laws of physics don’t always apply. Take what may be my new garage, for instance. I’m pretty sure with some maneuvering I can get my car into the garage, and I’m equally certain I would never be able to get it back out — the automotive equivalent of the Chinese finger trap. It might even be a metaphor for the whole city.
LA is a silly place, and I wouldn’t go there if I didn’t have to. Someday I hope I learn to love it, but me and LA — we have a lot of issues to work out.
Anyway, the upshot is, I’ve made a deposit on an incredibly small and expensive apartment. It has most of what I want and some of what I don’t. At the end of the day, I’m lucky to have a place to live at all, let alone most of what I want, which is what I was thinking as I drove past a homeless man arguing with his grocery cart and sporting a flowing, impressive beard of white. Shut up, Dave, is actually what I thought. Shut up and be happy and enjoy this. And for a moment I did and I was. And then the one freeway divided into five separate freeways and I was three lanes away from the freeway I wanted to be on.
De-assholing myself is going to be a process.