Thursday has come and gone. That is not to say that the day will be forgotten as soon as it passes by.
Let’s start with a new routine I would like to add on top of the training I am slowly building a foundation for.
Now that the bike business is out of the way (and now I know I wont need to replace this chain after throwing it coming down this hill at fast speeds and bending a few links wedging it between the seat stay and the wheel) we can proceed with the evening.
I have a love-hate relationship with the city of Westwood. Recently the hate seems to be winning the battle of the two. With it’s ultra congested streets filled with cars and obnoxious students roaming around, behaving in ways that can only be described as, “barbaric.” I decided to venture on down for a free concert at the Hammer museum. I expected there to be some traffic once we got off the freeway, but not as severe as yesterday. There happened to be a movie premiere right down the street to which the cast of said movie was expected to show & was why streets were at a dead stop filled with black guys in black suits and matching sunglasses.
Seeing the way people in that city maneuver their cars was intimidating and inconsiderate to say the least. Every other car was throwing caution to the wind and put themselves in situations that forced other drivers to yield to them. Getting upset at this would have made things worse, so I tried my best to go with the flow and observe this side of the human race for what it is. I can say that I have never experienced traffic this horrendous in my entire life. I had to shut my car off at red lights to keep it from overheating. Not only that but the majority of the parking structure parked in such a way that it required a very uncomfortable parking job in an already stressful situation with an emphasis to make time to prevent my second radiator from exploding. After making loops around the area to find an ATM to pay for parking, we finally arrived and the first sigh of relief was had.
The last time I was here, it was for another free event catered to bikes. Needless to say, I didn’t encounter half the stress as I did Thursday. No movie premiere, no worries about parking, no cares at all. That same night the patio was the only part of the museum that was open. So I didn’t know what type of museum this was in the first place.
I was pleasantly greeted with a bunch of contemporary art and indie films that would seem cozy if you happen to find yourself inside the house of a serial killer.
There was a lot of people there. On top of that, you had weird films and art to take in and admire. To add more to that, I was in an altered state of mind that made everyone’s conversations seem so much easier to eavesdrop if you were able to focus enough on it.
Looking at all the weird indie films people put out, I was reconsidering not owning a television in my room. I would keep weird stuff like what was shown on repeat, for dramatic effect.
There is a series of emotions and thoughts that the viewer is compelled to feel as soon as they see what is in the room. This subtle but aggressive approach felt very (in my imagination) empowering for the artist. A power I wish I had as much as mind control.
One idea I found hilarious was that there is a crowd out there that sees all of this and loves every inch of art for what it is. Every second of film is gawked over with this enormous amount of pretension and smut. The thought of that crowd makes me giggle deep in my bones.
In between what was on the gallery walls, and the hundreds of conversations on the patio, I kept using the word, “stimulated” to describe my experience that night. As if my senses were working at maximum capacity, absorbing every sight, sound, and feeling that came with the atmosphere. We decided that we should find a suiting spot to see the band perform; and so we did.
At this point the number of guests has probably doubled, but it didn’t matter at the time. We found parking, my car didn’t die, and I didn’t have an anxiety attack as a result. Whenever I go out I find myself distracted up until arrival of said event. I need to be parked, and know how to get to where I parked in order to finally let go of the potential stressors and begin to enjoy myself. Maybe this only happens when I drive (another reason to dislike cars as a whole.) We came to the conclusion that something about driving a car causes the driver’s emotions to amplify and the emotional walls we put up around others go away as soon as the vehicle starts. We feel invincible and impervious to the rest of the world. So when things like traffic arise, this sense of entitlement turns into confusion driven by anger and sometimes even rage. We become very emotionally vulnerable and wear our hearts on our sleeves along with our seatbelts.
Getting back to the concert. The band played well. The DJ sets that were before the band were very well thought of and transitioned incredibly well. We made it out of the parking lot in one piece and were no more than a mile from the freeway when the car died. We have yet to diagnose the problem, but after starting at the car for an unknown amount of time, it came back to life and we drove back to the traffic & worry-free suburb that is the valley.
From there I snuck into someone’s house with three other people dead asleep. In an apartment complex I could of swore had blood on the steps, in a neighborhood east of the 405, and parking in another place that tested my driving abilities yet again. The weirdness didn’t stop at the museum. I can’t remember the last time I was in a situation like this. It reminded me of when I was living in a not-so-nice neighborhood when I was about middle school age. Hanging out with your buddies. Not really being allowed to be where we were, but still hanging out because it was the thing to do. The feeling that things could go wrong very quickly and one couldn’t let their guard down too much for fear of getting caught. This along with the late nights of finding your way back home & observing the quiet and potentially dangerous streets on your way back home. It wasn’t the most comfortable set of feelings I’ve had, but it reminds me of my childhood.
It should be no surprise that I’ll be spending this evening at a buddies house, wrenching on bikes, in a safe and traffic-free environment. It might take the rest of the night to mentally digest all that ensued.