Too many people think all of California looks like Disneyland or some other movie set. We all walk around in full makeup, lines memorized, ready to tantrum if our Starbucks hasn't been delivered by the time we reach our trailer. We exist only in Rodeo Drive and Sunset Blvd, glittering beaches and sparkling weather, earthquakes and scripted drama.
But I am a third generation Californian and maybe that's why I love the Grapevine with this breath-intake kind of love. It's somewhat unreal unless you know this state well, a mix of these norms with its outlying suburbs and then the distinctly imperfect with crags and seasons. Ridges can be barren save for these tiny insignificant green starbursts that may be able to bite, and then lushly dead with our namesake gold which seems stroke-able like a favored pet. Then there are the movie days. The perfection that no one expected to find so close to Los Angeles, an otherworldly vision of clouds greenhills wildflowers. How could such normal beauty exist in a manufactured Mecca of the False?
There certainly is that evolution gripping and tearing my home into this merchandise-centered filth that I'm beginning to not recognize, but I don’t see how this differs from you. Juicy Tracksuits may have started in Beverly Hills, but they’ll end on your street corner, maybe to be revived by another generation, thrifting for inspiration. Know that discounting whatever you think we are will in distance discount your own misconceptions.
Rail the fear of wind rain and that particular scent of a shook earth, but then I invite you to live a charred home simply because the Santa Anas decided to do what they do best that day. Fear that instead, pride intact.