L.A. is not home to me. It never will be, never could be. It’s dry and sprawling, full of sun-bleached buildings and strip malls. It bears no resemblance to the damp and mildewy place in which I live. But there are a handful of people I love who’ve managed to make Los Angeles their home, and so a few times a year, I head down there.
The term fish out of water isn’t strong enough. Try fish out of planet. It’s like the story of The Ugly Duckling if the duckling were, say, this little guy (and also, he never turns into a swan). Me and Los Angeles? We make no sense. I fumble through the city, a squishy mortal in possession of her original nose and a pair of barely-D-cups which have proven themselves not impervious to the ravages of time.
I am not comfortable in Los Angeles, save for one place: The Getty Center.
There, I am at home. Perched on a hill above L.A., surrounded by visiting college students from Asia, clusters of German tourists, families, and a sprinkling of white-haired, opinionated old ladies from Jersey who hate everything, I am completely in my element.