I locked up my bicycle on Colorado Boulevard. Off to the side of a parking garage on Fair Oaks Avenue. Lining the boulevard are buildings pregnant with restaurant and retail establishments. The city of Pasadena parades these buildings as being historic which meant either they probably meant something once or that they were simply a century old and historic by default.
People ate and shopped on the street all through the day, but with a strange sort of skillful seriousness. They were culinary connoisseurs and professional purchasers of an inspiring vacuous conviction. Then they’d retire as a new boulevard would be birthed beneath the blanket of nightfall; inseminating the luxurious little lane with nightlife. Then the city’s beauties binged on bottomless bottles of beer, booze or bubbly in babe-abundant bars where bitches bounced their booties to the bass being bumped. There was a bar for anyone, any scene and were at your fingertips. If you could find a parking spot.
Parking garages were plentiful. They had to be in order to accommodate the plethora of tourists. You could find one around every corner and would probably regard them with honks, fist shakes, screams, and smacked steering columns. Then you’d find yourself still honking, fist shaking, screaming and abusing your steering column as you’d tread through the parking garage til you found a parking spot. Getting past traffic signal-handicapped tourists to the parking garage was only the first part.
It was easy for me to dismiss the luster of Colorado Boulevard. It’s convenience may have been a part of it. It wasn’t a trip away, a plan away nor even a drive away for me. It was a train-stop away, a bike-ride away, a walk away, or even a song away. I couldn’t discern the street’s splendor from the adjustable basketball hoop in my neighbor’s driveway. (The hoop had a potential to raise my self-confidence by granting me one slam-dunk in life, however this remains hypothesized until I cure a misunderstanding my neighbor had of me, of which had ironically impeded any attempts of my doing so. Access to the hoop was denied indefinitely.)
My apartment was only a few blocks away. Of that I was grateful. I was unable to see the brilliance of the boulevard others saw because I saw this: at least 90% of people walking the boulevard that day will be bitch-slapped by a fee for a parking pass. Most visitors and virtually every tourist had no idea where the real parking spots were hidden. They either purchased the pass or paid a parking violation because they just weren’t clever enough to outsmart the street signs. There was more parking enforcement than law enforcement. It was both saddening and amusing to see that it wasn’t the historical buildings in Pasadena, but the huge, hollow buildings that really made the most money in ratio to the amount of effort they required. I never did know much about business. People were sent to institutions by their loved ones and some went as far as to send themselves; with a common endeavor to become educated with whatever the actual ideology of business was -It ain’t me babe.
I just hoped business wasn’t just about numbers and the accumulation of it. I saw the numbers. I never appointed an importance to them. I never had the desire to become wealthy. I was okay with being poor like I’d always been. I was pretty good at not having any money. I didn’t give enough of a shit for business to try being good at it.
I was always bad with numbers. Never had I felt comfortable around them. The multiplication table mocked me. Enduring the abuse of business felt unnecessary. It would’ve threatened me only with poverty which I’d already been well-acquainted with. I just wanted to live simply and simply love, not flashily but whatever was enough for Goldilocks. hold it! she’s gets eaten! …right? As simple as these aspirations appeared, they weren’t. I was too busy being bitch-slapped by life and love, smacked like it was none of my business. I wasn’t sure why this was. It never seemed to be very fair. I’d already learned these life and love lessons, several times over. It was almost as though I was being beaten for entertainment. There were times I’d been reduced to having an Elliott Smith album on repeat as my body was locked in fetal position on the tile of the bathroom floor. Though sometimes, the abuse was funny. Sometimes.
Perhaps, when you boiled down life and love, they’d also be revealed to persist through the accumulation of numbers. Ergo, I wasn’t good at life and love because I was terrible with numbers..? This sounded rough, but sounded about right. I haven’t even mentioned how terrible my luck was. Let alone mentioned the menacing bully that was my mind. hey, chubcheeks, listen… i’m right fuckin’ here! don’t be sayin’ shit ’bout me!At least, not yet. Looking at the parking structures on Colorado Boulevard always gave me an image of people everywhere being backhanded, which incidentally reminded me to set the lock on my bicycle. -a cheap combination lock I picked up which would lock or unlock with the right numbers.
[This is the introduction to the novel I’ve been working on.