Venice Beach reminds me a little of the scene from the film Apocalypse Now were Martin Sheen makes it to the top of the river and finds all the solders that have just dropped out of the war. Here it seems like all sorts of people who have dropped out of life alongside the beautiful people of course. I want to throw something into the sea as a marker of the furthest point of my journey but not sure what, I seem to need everything I have. Advice, always on a journey pack something to throw into the sea as a symbolic action of leaving something of you self behind and moving on. (Not the laptop). A middle age man passes me on a child’s bike holding a sign saying ‘for sale for weed’. As I walk I take a photo of another somebody but now a nobody on a bench wrapped in a sleeping bag and it must be a 100 degrees something today . Out the corner of my eye I notice an orange dress pushing a bike there are so many bikes here. I kneel, take the shot and move on. The nobody is completely unaware of my presence; I know nothing of its story under the sleeping bag I know not if it’s male or female. Who is this forgotten nobody, someone’s child? Did they make it through school, fail a marriage, loos its job? Does this nobody under the sleeping bag have children? What drives someone to say I am giving up this air conditioned car dollar centred life for a sleeping bag in Santa Monica?
The orange dress begins to tell me off. Is this how Californian women pick up handsome Englishmen? She discovers I am English and she we walk and talk for a while. The orange dress is a writer actor and yoga teacher, me just a priest with no work to do but listen. She is highly vexed why so many people who are not cared for here in this dreamland of Los Angeles. For me here I have seen more people with their heads in the street bins or pushing a shopping trolley that carries all their life. Or perhaps the numbers are not that different maybe the difference is that it is here. The place of dreams. Many years ago I went to India for a short time I have no wisdom on the place but both Mumbi (Bombay as knew it) and LA feel very similar to me. Both are places of dreams in both places you can be somebody or nobody.
Sorry to end on a downer