California drivers are my spirit animal

California Drivers are my Spirit Animal (1)

I have been pondering over the best way to start this post for days now.

This morning I told Jake I thought I finally had the perfect opener, to which he replied: “It was the best of Shmoggs, it was the worst of Shmoggs.” And “Call me Shmogg.”

Damn, those are good too.

I lost my job on Thursday. Which coincidently happened to be the same day that I had the worst series of panic attacks in over three years. The two are not mutually exclusive, however, the attacks came well before the canning, and I do think it is worth mentioning that I do not believe in coincidence. Maybe I should revise that statement to say “Which for the pure humor of the universe…” or “Life, in an effort to fully shake my tree..”, you choose.

Also, there we no actual cans involved in my termination. I don’t even know where that statement comes from. It really makes no sense. (Insert visual of former employee being pummeled with cans of tuna as they load their sad little baker’s box with personal items). Why tuna? I guess it seems like L&I would have a problem with full sized canned vegetables. Go ahead and imagine whichever canned item makes you happy.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with California drivers. Back in January of this year, my mom and I had to make a trip to LA to pack and prepare my grandmother’s house. My grandfather had passed away a few weeks prior, and she was no longer able to care for herself. At 84, my grandmother is a member of the memory loss club. Combine that with limited mobility due to double knee replacements, and having a hole in her eye, we felt it was the time she moved in with my mom. She didn’t exactly share this sentiment at the time, but she also kept asking me when my mom was going to arrive, throughout the week that we were there. Time is a cold bitch.

I was originally born in California. My mom and dad had left Michigan in an effort to escape the job crisis of the time and find work. They posted up close to my mother’s parents in Upland, California, about 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles. Note, the “45 minutes” is a totally Midwest way of telling distance. And anyone who has ever been within spitting distance of LA knows that going 10 miles can take anywhere from 8 minutes to 4 hours depending on the police chase de jour.

I don’t really view myself as a superstitious person, but returning to LA after 33 years of being away, and driving the mid-day 10 and 60 traffic felt like home. Los Angeles drivers do not give two fucks about anything. I would go so far as to say they don’t give a single fuck, but I don’t feel that I am qualified to make that ruling. It is pure chaos. Rules of the road need not apply. Concomitantly you have Ferraris zipping around landscaping trucks that look like they may fall to pieces at any moment and daily commuters that are so engrossed in their cellphones that it’s a wonder they didn’t just rear end the terrified tourists that are clinging to their steering wheels for dear life. It is beautiful. Everyone is doing exactly what they want, and for the most part, it works.

I flew Jake down to LAX about 3 days into my let’s get this shit done trip. I was not going to be the only one that had to experience this. Those of you who have moved 2,000 miles away from your family can understand this train of thought. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but I love them in a 2,000 miles is still a little too close for your brand of crazy kind of way. The first day he was there, I almost missed our exit and had to cut across 5 lanes of traffic going 90 and practically jump the rented Kia Soul over the exit ramp to make it. Jake was terrified. I was home. I think being born under the LA sky must have imprinted me with whatever magic keeps the daily I-10 traffic from being a giant flaming ball of twisted metal.

And for that reason, Los Angeles drivers are my spirit animal.

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