20-Something, Film, Hipstercrite Life

Under Your Spell

11:26PM 10/19/11

Watching Drive and writing that post today really got to me. The LA in Drive is the LA in so many movies and was the LA in my head when I lived there, though it’s not the LA that actually exists. I’ve written about this way too many times before, so I will not rehash it too much. Or maybe I will.

There are multiple LAs that exist in film- the glamorous 1920’s LA, the dangerous noir 40’s/50’s LA, the sunny carefree 1960’s LA, the porn/drug-riddled 70’s LA and the beautifully nihilistic 80’s LA. After that, the LA that exists now is the one we all know, but we want the other LAs, you know? The Day-Of-The-Locust-Who-Framed-Roger-Rabbit-Chinatown-LA-Confidential-Boogie Nights-Less-Than-Zero all rolled into one LA.

I just can’t stop thinking about her tonight. I can’t stop thinking about all the illusions and the dreams that weren’t real. The holding my breath, waiting for something to happen. The anticipation that anything– good or bad- would reveal itself to me. The living my life as if it were a movie. Whipping through the streets at 2AM, heading to the beach for no reason at all, the imaginary soundtrack playing through my head. Meeting equally lost souls, occasionally trying to find our way through the dark together, but mostly going it alone.

The long nights working, being on set, going to fancy restaurants and clubs, going home and crying for reasons unclear, the occassional late-night dalliance with a person who only wanted a piece of my soul, the therapist, finding myself in Boyle Heights, helicopters shining in my window, laying on my bedroom floor hugging a bottle of vodka, walking down Venice Boardwalk and a stranger telling me that something was missing inside.

Everything was missing. I was missing. I no longer recognized the person I had become.

The answers I was so desperately searching for in LA has only become clear now: I was learning about myself the entire time I thought I was losing myself.

It is a relationship that no one- not my family, not my boyfriend, not my friends will ever understand, because I still don’t understand it. She won’t let me go. Just when I think that she’s out of my mind for good, a sound or a smell brings it all back. Every detail.

And I wonder why I long for a time and place that was so undefined.

Fuck you, nostalgia.

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  • Reply Carol October 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Sounds to me like you need to come back to L.A. for awhile. I have a spare bedroom…

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      I really want to in the new year.

  • Reply Noir Bikes October 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    wow… great read, but kinda makes me wanna shy away from LA.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      ha! it’s not that bad!

  • Reply Brittany October 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I understand completely. Though my feeling-this-way’s directed towards another city, I’m rarely able to reminisce about the place without some serious longing and empty-heartedness.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      which city?

      • Reply Brittany October 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm

        Portland, OR! I moved up there on a crazy whim with a roommate I’d only known a few months.. It wasn’t necessarily a prosperous nor a particularly enjoyable time but something about the vibe of that place really resonated with me and I know at some point in my life I’ll find myself there again.

        • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

          Could be the age you were too. I think that’s a lot of why I feel the way I do about LA. I came of age in LA.

  • Reply Mary October 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    im 21 and spent two years been incredibly lost, reading ^^ felt like crack therapy. Thanks for being so honest! (I also live in austin and think it’ll be weird if i meet you one day…i also saw geoff on campus and couldn’t help feeling creepy for knowing so much about him through this blog haha)

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      hey mary! hahaha! too funny. say hi to geoff! he’ll get a kick out of it! you’re so young. you’ll have it figured out soon enough. don’t you worry!

  • Reply Cathy Benavides October 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    As a diehard fan or LA Story, Less Than Zero, LA Confidential, and countless other LA cliche films and books, I have kept my distance. No matter what, I know that LA will fall short of my expectations, and my dreams will be crushed. Same with New York – I have it built so perfectly in my mind that the reality will devastate me. Sad I know, but I will stay here in Austin and think of the fictionalized cities in my mind that move me and inspire me.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Cathy, I think that is the best attitude you can have. Austin is an amazing city and neither LA or NYC are what they’re all cracked up to be. 😉

  • Reply Smedette October 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I have a similar relationship with my hometown (Portland, OR). It played a huge role in who I am today, but I’m not sure I could ever live there again.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      why not?

      • Reply Smedette October 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

        Portland is great, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s surrounded by a pretentious bubble of sorts. It’s a strange little ecosystem all its own. Maybe it has something to do with the geography (it’s so far away from other cities).

        That being said, I’m still torn about it and my feelings always fluctuate.

        • Reply hipstercrite October 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

          I have some friends here who lived there and said something similar. However, I’m sure the same can be said about Austin sometimes. 😉

  • Reply Caroline October 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Moving to Austin from LA in the new year, stumbled upon your blog while looking at Austin blogs… your post really hits home for all the reasons I’m leaving. Need some autenticity around me, ya know?

    (And I loved DRIVE, too, so much awesome.)

    • Reply hipstercrite October 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Caroline! Thanks for stopping by! Congratulations on your move to Austin, that is so exciting? Do you have friends here? Have you been here before?

      • Reply Caroline October 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

        I grew up in Oklahoma City and have been to Austin a ton. I’ve been in LA 7 years, and it’s just time to make a change. I feel like Austin will be a great fit for me with the film/music while offering so much more sanity than La La. Cannot WAIT. Your blog will keep me connected till I get there in the new year!!

  • Reply Israel Carrasco October 21, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been in L.A my whole life and still live there. I hate it yet I’m drawn to it like an abusive relationship. Here is what I think happened to L.A and why there are so many paradoxes surrounding the city. In the 70’s and 80’s the place was a shit hole and we Angelinos said, this place is a dump. Then the douchebag hipsters moved in and improved the area and we yelled ” Gentrification”. WTF??? Here is what’s weird. The real Angelinos are over L.A while the people that move in try to “outhollywood” everyone else. It’s the Paris Hilton effect. I will say this. I do miss L.A when it had grime yet at the time I couldn’t see the beauty in that.

    Case in point:

    BTW thanx for that song it’s on my favs now

    • Reply hipstercrite October 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      LA is like an abusive relationship you can’t leave. I sometimes dream of going back.
      It’s interesting listening to the prospective of someone who has lived in LA their whole life. There aren’t a lot of you and you REALLY know what the city is like. Thanks for sharing, Israel!

  • Reply Adria October 21, 2011 at 7:15 am

    All experiences seem more vivid and linear in retrospect. I keep trying to remind myself that cities don’t change, it is us who change and that’s why we can’t “relive” experiences. Also, we wouldn’t want to. Nostalgia is beautiful, though and certainly makes for good reading material.

    LA is a very strange place. I’m still trying to find a pulse and I’ve been here almost a year.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      You said it better than I ever could, Adria.
      It took me three years to find my pulse in LA. By the time I felt LA was truly home (5 years in ), I had to leave before it was too late.

  • Reply Eric October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve never left Texas (although like I’ve said before, spent plenty of time in LA and find it almost magical…although I know if I lived there, like so many friends, the magic would quickly fade…unless I won the lotto, then goodbye Texas, hello Repo Man – the film that, for some reason, defined LA for me since a middle schooler). That said, if I’m to kick the bucket early, my will states I’m to be buried at FOREST LAWN Glendale (and all this because of The Loved One! Oy vey), hahaha!

    • Reply hipstercrite October 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Oh wow! I’ve never heard of The Loved One. Just looked it up. You’re too cool, Eric!

  • Reply Mark October 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I glimpsed where you said that you ‘came of age’ in LA… I feel that way about Carolina… but I don’t know if you can ever go back… nostalgia will keep you from really being able to ‘see’ the LA you are in and the one you fantasize about… maybe life will bring you back …

    LOVE the song… and it so fits this post…

  • Reply Ben November 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    As you know, I’ve liked your posts about the fantastical LA vs. the actual LA. This one made me think of a line in Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” (one of those bestselling hippie books) about how you can’t stay in a place that has too many pieces of you left behind in it. I also feel like age has almost everything to do with places meaning so much to us. I have to remind myself of that a lot (that it’s not the place that’s so volatile, I just happen to associate the place with a volatile period of my life).
    Funny enough, Ithaca is the closest thing I have to a place like that. If I go to Ithaca (or to a place similar to Ithaca, which happens much more frequently) and don’t prepare myself for it, I can get weirdly emotional. But if I first think about how it’s not Ithaca, it’s just being 19 that I’m thinking of, I’m fine.

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