One of the vague, lightly oppressive things about living in cities is all the people. Being around people can be, you know, social and energizing and stuff. But truly, I can’t say I’ve ever been in a huge crowd of people, say, shopping or driving or going to see a movie, and thought “Wow, look at all these people. Awesome.” UNLESS, they are all dressed up as PIRATES. Then, being around those people really is AWESOME.
So I’m somewhat sensitive to my environs. While living in LA, would find myself lamenting the lack of humanity when so many people are crammed together. I wonder if the ratio of civilized behavior is congruent with the number of people per square inch. You can see it in peoples’ faces. Vacant, dull and apathetic. Or angry, pinched and ready to carve out your liver for a parking space. I would curse the whole city when I couldn’t get decent customer service at Target. I’m rational that way.
It was this exhaustion with the general urban apathy that prompted the semi-impulsive move to Hawaii. I wanted to get away from all the damn people. The traffic, the trash, the pollution. The graffiti scratched into gas pumps. For some reason, I seem to notice this in quite a bit. Graffiti, in general, but in particular, scratched with keys onto gas pumps. I’m not sure what it is trying to communicate. You can’t read what it says. It’s just someone leaving their mark. And it makes things a little less nice than before. It’s tiring. Like I said, I’m “sensitive.” Some people call it “crazy.”
I see signs of city decay here also, it being a city and all. In ways, Portland is more urban than southern California because it’s dense. I can walk from one side of town to the other. All essentials (booze, groceries, coffee, the wine store, maybe the post office, booze,) are within 3 blocks. Can you imagine doing that in LA? I mean, it does happen, but generally, not so much. You have to drive to your booze in LA.
So people are packed-in here. But people seem nicer. And there are bits of graffiti here and there:
Doesn’t that warm your tush right up?