L.A. Odes

In your car-slash-environmental travel pod in Los Angeles, you are alone. Other pods are abstractions, “a thing causing me irritation” most of the time. You vent your id at people in their pods in ways you would never vent to a person on a Los Angeles street. New Yorkers vent their ids far less often. People are more often people than an abstraction.

You hear the roar of the wind, the squeals of the street signs, the flapping of banners, the swooshing of trees and sirens of ambulances and firetrucks, and you see the leaves — so many little leaves — swirling red and white in the lights of cars coming and going, and you remember — this. This is why you’re here. The sudden weight of life and death on every choice. You’re alive. Yes, the dream is paramount, but you, the human, you’re still here. Why have you spent the past year in a car?

In a study of the country’s most stressful cities, Forbes has found Los Angeles ranks second — right after Las Vegas. Why? Los Angeles has among the lowest scores for the well-being of its residents — 22.8% of Angelenos reported that our health was less than good.

In LA, no one cares about the name on your purse quite like the name of your yoga instructor, or Pilates instructor, or your Yogalates instructor. In New York, it’s whose party you’re invited to and who you’re wearing. In LA, it’s whose vacation home you stayed in and who rejuvenates your vagina.