Monday, July 16, 2007

Back on the Bus: the Color Purple

Los Angeles was working its magic and pushing me into a serious and committed relationship with my car. I was busy at work and this was my continuing justification for saving 15 or 20 minutes on my commute, and not having to wake up earlier and trudge out to the bus stop on Colorado trailing my funereal litigation bag (back in New York we called them "elephant bags", which was somewhat more fanciful but equally depressing). I was acclimating; it was inevitable: the public transport riding habits I had picked up from my eight years or so in New York would inevitably wither away, and I would join my fellow middle-class Los Angelenos on the freeway, tucked safely inside my well-maintained, recently-washed car, listening to Ira Glass or the same four CDs over and over.

So I hadn't been on the bus for a while, but I'm back on the 81 tonight. The bus TV is showing Tavis Smiley, who's interviewing Quincy Jones. Tavis's set is very purple. Many things are purple in L.A. It must be our unofficial color, though there's no purple on the city's very rasta flag. Maybe the purple everywhere is inspired by the lovely jacaranda trees that line many of our streets, littering the ground with thousands of soft, sticky, purple petals.

Purple is a depressing color. I think studies have confirmed this. Purple, for me, does not produce a feeling of excitement or anticipation; rather, it tends to make me feel sort of contemplative and tired. And weak.

This is a particularly insipid post. I think I will now pull out my book, Death in the Afternoon, and read for the rest of the trip. Yes, I'll be that guy reading a Hemingway paperback on the bus: we must all play the parts we've been assigned.


creative-type dad said...

I had no idea we had a flag...

And it's hideous.

Anonymous said...

red, gold and green, breddah.

That's a great book.


Toddy said...

Death in the Afternoon is a good book, yeah. Hemingway caught at perhaps his most publicly fragile.