first warm day in months
Monday, April 23 2001
Today was the first genuinely warm day in months here on the Westside of Los Angeles. The last day this warm was back in December or January, I don't remember exactly. When I came home from work all I wanted to do was walk around on the sunny sidewalks. This couldn't possibly be a mission of human interaction; the sidewalks of my West LA neighborhood are some of the possibly least-pedestrian-utilized in America.
I ended up walking to two different grocery stores, starting with the Ralphs in nearby Brentwood, where I usually get all my sandwich items, and ending with the Smart and Final across Santa Monica Blvd., where I go for things like chips, crackers, salsa and grapefruit juice. There was a thin older gentleman who shuffled into the Smart and Final behind me and I thought he looked like he wasn't doing too well. His neck looked awfully narrow, too narrow (I thought) to support his head. Later he appeared in line in front of me and when he went to say something to the cashier he had to resort to a metal whistle-like device which he put to his lips. It allowed him to say something unintelligible in a metallic robot voice. Suddenly I realized why this gentleman's neck was so narrow; he didn't have a throat! It had been removed by a rottweiler or, less melodramatically, because of cancer. Still, I have to say, he had healthier habits than everyone else I see in LA. On this beautiful day he was the only person beside myself willing to walk home with his groceries.
Here in Los Angeles, people are obsessed with staying fit, looking healthy, and talking about how much they love the unchallenging weather. But they routinely negate all of this by spending their time relatively motionless indoors, either in air-conditioned late-model German cars or watching their trendy plasma screen teevees. When they do exercise, it must be something they've scheduled on their Palm Pilots. An exercise appointment consists of driving to Bodies in Motion, prowling the parking lot for fifteen minutes awaiting a chance to park in the spot closest to the door (thus minimizing outdoor parking lot time and maximizing perceived rockstar status) and then exercising in an air-conditioned room for a half hour. On especially lucky days a celebrity walks in at some point and uses the Bowflex® two stations over.
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