it’s not everyone that thinks of Mr. Samuel Coleridge when they first come upon the Department of Water and Power in downtown Los Angeles – but we did – last night –
it’s almost as if a piece of Battery Park City, in Manhattan, took a mini-break in the depths of a NY winter and came West and decided to stay.
however, unlike Manhattan – it’s deserted.
people (with money) d r i v e in and park under their office building and stay there for lunch (delivery) and do not venture outside.
those (take a moment to feel grateful) without Means (or several driving-under-the-influence-issues-thus-no-licence) take the bus or drift with their worldly belongings in the scorching heat and pass out in the Park (and we don’t mean in the Leaving Sandhurst way).
but really, there’s no one about.
at least not that we’ve ever seen – apart from when there’s a downtown art walk or something and then the Curious and those-in-tie-dye-materials converge there just briefly.
but it’s really beautiful.
and we felt profoundly moved by the Department of Water and Power (well, you can’t go wrong with a brutalist 1960s building and a cantilevered staircase surrounded by a man-made lake can you?)
so why were we There?
well – who-we-are-in-RL was meant to be going to a Screening at something called Outfest (this is an LGBTQ Moment – the Q being Questioning – although we much preferred the days of Ms. B. Ruby Rich in her designation of the Cinema of the Out There People – heady days – when Q meant Queer *gasps*).
unfortunately something came up so we had to Leave and head back into the middle of Town again (too long a story – and for another blog – not ours at any Rate).
but we felt a strange reverberation (and it wasn’t a. an earthquake or b. at all pleasant).
you see – before we became teamgloria (*lookstocamera*) who-we-are-in-RL often Wrote about such Film Festivals in London in (really? 1992?!) and thereabouts for Time Out, London (the Out here, rather confusingly, means Time Off – afternoons, evenings, weekends, that sort of thing – do keep up darlings, we know we’re finding it hard to ;-)
so it was a shock to her (poor love) when she parked the car (we’re not allowed to drive, we have to study the Map which makes no sense when we have a disembodied and Very Bossy lady GPS therein) and she was faced with a scene from circa 1992.
everyone looked EXACTLY as they used to in the early 90s – the ladies, their Companions (of inter-sex or same-sex-different-haircuts) and Others (in the sense of being different-from-the-norm although this is Los Angeles so one has to work very hard to be Other because almost Everyone is Other here apart from the people who drive to the skyscrapers and don’t leave until 7PM to go back to the Valley – but who knows what they wear on a saturday night in sherman oaks – we cannot judge).
but they were all in their early 20s.
and who-we-are-in-RL is Not (anymore).
in fact she was the only person with a black hand Fan (hard to find – the Japanese shop Daiso in Koreatown has them – you can’t miss them – everything else is Pink there) and a Louise Brooks bob.
she had to sit down.
the where-did-the-years-go? feeling overcame her.
as did the where-are-the-others-who-carry-black-hand-fans*? sensation
*the Castro – and they’re drag queens – but we didn’t want to add to her sadness.
as she slipped out of the screening to take-care-of-an-issue (which we can’t go into Here) we overheard an adorable little androgyne with some suspiciously new facial hair (how clever!) saying s/he** was on the “wait list” for the screening because it was over-subscribed (there were certainly Lots of People there last night).
so we turned around and smiled (prettily) and said:
you can have our Ticket.
seriously? you don’t want to see the screening?
we’ve already seen this one – about twenty years ago – and something-just-came-up that we must attend to.
and with that, we left.
they appear to be friendly and definitely Other.
**(you didn’t know we were familiar with the work of Violette Leduc who pioneered the use of the split gender transgression s/he or J/E were you? we have Hidden Depths, darlings)
The richness of her narratives comes less from the circumstances depicted than from the burning intensity of her memory; at each moment she is completely there through all the thickness of of the years.
Simone de Beauvoir on Violette Leduc
Trying to squish all our different experiences into one Life (or even one career) is proving tiring.
just for today we’re going to take a break and drink tea with friends and not think about the future at all.
how about you?
fancy taking a day off from worrying as well?
you look like you might need to, love.
tell us how it goes when you do.
we’re here to listen.
and we thank you for Listening to us.