Expect the unbelievable

Every time I plan to go to LA, I dread it. Every time I come back, I’m glad I made the journey. It never ceases to give me a story to tell.

So today, I went to talk to my amazing production designer for my thesis film. I cursed the traffic on the way to Little Tokyo… It felt like everything at the time. By the time I arrived 80 minutes later, having left home for lunch at 11, I had heard NPR’s news cycle five times, and two special focus features three times. With the whole world out there, you’d think they wouldn’t need to repeat that much. But, whatever.

And then we met, and it was amazing. And then I saw this:

It's a wish tree. You write your wish and hang it there.

It’s a wish tree. You write your wish and hang it there.

What do the notes on the Wish Tree say? Can I be rich? Can I be pretty? Strangely no.

1000_wishtreecloseup

Can I be loved? Please, can I be loved. That’s all we all say.

Downtown LA, little Tokyo, is home to people of middle to lower income, up and coming, all hoping for the dream. I picked these two because they were the most touching, but most people, almost all people, weren’t after money, the thing everybody is told to pursue here. No… And you know what’s best about that? My next appointment, across town in Westwood was with a friend I’ve barely spoken to for many, many years. We didn’t invite each other to our weddings (that hurt me; not sure about her). I always thought she judged and pitied me. And yet, when I saw her, I realised she was still the child I loved. I remember lying with her under a tree and saying how nice it was that we could just lie there. We were eight years old. And making peace with her today lifted a shadow from my mind. We’re different, but still connected somehow.

If I had a to have put a wish on the tree, maybe it should have been “find old friends”. But I didn’t know that was my wish until it came true.

Then I went, impulsively, in the hope of missing traffic on my return, to get my hair cut. The Russian stylist asked me: “So, most people in South Africa are African-American, right?” Talk about misplaced political correctness… but I like the way she blow dried it.

Then I headed home, having “missed the traffic”. Once I was locked into the 405, I heard on the radio that there’d been an accident in the car pool lane. Two cars and a motorcycle. No fatalities. But rubbernecking would make me late for my next meeting, in Santa Ana, with my set decorator. FML, I thought. How quickly we forget how lucky we are… and then, once we passed the accident, I saw this:

1000_airplanebuilding01

I was late and going about 60mph, so forgive the poor quality. But I saw a building with a painting on it. Didn’t realize when I whipped out my cell phone that I was taking a picture of something else too…

600_airplanebuilding02

See the airplane, about to land at LAX? It kinda looks like it’s about to fly into the building – and I’m sure the makers of the new Marvel movie, who bought space on the building front on the highway just before comic con, were aware of that too. Ingenious marketing right? To the naked eye, the plane was bigger.

Ask me this morning what I would do today? I could tell you some things. But I had no idea, really, what I would do today, did I?

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