Wednesday, November 12, 2003

S, I'm Late

I return from the smoggy snarl of highways called the Greater Los Angeles area, the land where Jake Gittes got his nose slashed and Betty Elms killed her dream. I hate LA. It's a nasty place where bad people come from, I think. Nonetheless, it's also where three things are presently situated:
  • Marisa, who's leaving soon
  • the Los Angeles Times, which is probably staying)
  • possibly, my future.
The Times newsroom is like the Nexus newsroom, if it grew out in every direction so far that I can't see the end of the hallways. I could have gotten lost in cubicles and paper stacks. People work, hunched at cluttered desks — just like the Nexus, only older and less attractive. The constrained glee I like about the Nexus is gone however.

That must be how grown-ups get work done: sans glee.

I would have to mail in an application for a summer internship by January 1. I think I will, even if the hiring editor Marisa introduced me to today is the very definition of a hardass, a guy I couldn't impress with a case of roid rage and a baseball bat. Returning to the LA Times newsroom would mean totally victory and utter defeat of everything I have ever worked for. Moving to LA would be triumph and anti-triumph — yes and no — all and nothing — cucumbers and pomegranates.

I dread ever going back to LA. Ever. There's so much opportunity, true. But I'm picky enough that digging through that dry scab of a city doesn't hold the appeal, especially when life in Saint Foreigner is easy, what with sprouts in the backyard and lightning over the ocean. Still, there's nothing for me here. And I got a little charge — the square root of lightning? — watching Marisa write a news story out of the Amber Alerts I saw on the drive down.

Figgidy figgidy figgidy. Think, man. Think.

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