BIANCA DORSO. George & Lily in the Studio
Sometimes you just have to take a day off and deal with stuff. The plumber, the bedroom door that sticks, the pictures on the floor that need to be hung, all those unpacked boxes. So you decide to focus on what’s in front of you. You make coffee, you post a poem, you answer the door. It’s your neighbor.
“You’re home,” he says, stating the obvious with alarm and suspicion. I explain about having to do things. I don’t mention the poem, which I’ve sort of forgotten about. I invite him in. He asks if I am unhappy, sick, upset, disoriented, in pain. I respond in the negative repeatedly. I protest I am fine.
“It’s the commute, isn’t it,” he observes, still searching. I decide to give him this and admit as how I did try taking Coldwater Canyon the day before. He belts out an oath, like he’s Professor Plum in the Library, brandishing a Candlestick. Mystery solved.
“NEVER TAKE COLDWATER,” he admonishes me. “THAT’S INSANE.”
In retrospect I confess it was a bad idea, even more so once I saw the line of cars bumper to bumper attempting to navigate that impossible route, but I feel defensive. “You didn’t tell me,” I point out.
“YOU DIDN’T ASK,” he replies, which is true enough. I suggest there was something up with yesterday’s rush hour. The fog, I offer. My neighbor gives me a look. We both know all it takes is a traffic light out in Malibu to shut down everything east of the 405. The butterfly effect, but you only need one poor fool trying to make a left onto Outpost from Mulholland before 10 am.
The emails and texts don’t start pouring in til later. Are you okay? I remember the poem that poured out of my pen in the middle of the night. I realize I probably shouldn’t post everything that comes in that way. Writing is therapy as Graham Greene (1904-1991) once observed and then wondered what people who didn’t write or compose or paint did to manage their feelings. I can think of a few answers to that question, but none of them appeal to me at the moment.
The plumber finishes, the pictures get hung, a box gets unpacked. All is well. And I will never ever again try taking Coldwater Canyon to get to the other side of the hills.