My personal urban unrest. On Mexican veneers and sensory overload.

I see Teeth.
I see Goddamned Teeth.

Sometimes when I drive to work, I forsake the freeway and take Cesar Chavez Boulevard (which becomes Sunset after downtown) into Hollywood.

The urban fairy tale.

And those teeth.
They rattle and frazzle and even bedazzle.
Is “bedazzle” necessarily a term of endearment, of positivity?
Not sure. But the Teeth, they do bedazzle.

Fucking Teeth.

See, on Sunset Boulevard, just after you drive into Echo Park, there is billboard on the South side of the street facing Eastbound. Facing me. Waiting for me, mocking me, as I drove Westbound towards the mighty Hollywood capital of glamor and glitz.


I live in the big city, the city of big egos and big pocketbooks and big self-importance.

I live in the city of billboards.

When I take the streets to work, this greets me.

How do I describe this?
How do I convey the impression it leaves on my soul?

What the hell. Does it matter?

I’ve seen that billboard so often, I no longer pay attention. Or at least I don’t think I do.

Isn’t it a truth that our mind works on several levels?
There is the most superficial, conscious and shallowly cognitive level. Where the immediate sensual perceptions reside.

You see. You touch. You hear. You smell.
And if you’re lucky, you taste.

The immediate, the bare input, the naked data of your world. Not implying it goes any further.

If you smell hot tar as you drive by a section of the road being repaved, you don’t think about the tar in depth, but you recognize the smell.

You recognize that hot, black smell. That’s what it is. You drive by, the interpretation of tar smell fades.

The Teeth. That billboard.
I see it so often it has become the tar smell of my soul.
I see it. I drive by it. I no longer react to it on a conscious level.

But yesterday morning.
I paid attention.

Thought of it, dissected it.
So much so that I had to pull over and take a photograph of it (freak!).

I was struck.
It bothers me.
It bothers the fuck out of me, actually.

That is not feigned blogospheric emotion, that is not cyber attention whoring. That is genuine. I came to this conclusion.

The billboard bothers me.

It doesn’t bother me because of its exaggerated and absurd subject. On the surface, it’s bothersome but not troubling.

No, this shit troubles me.

The billboard has left an indentation on my psyche.
City living has left an indentation on my psyche.

There is so much intrusion that goes on when you live in a big fucking city like Los Angeles.
Your soul is an open door.
You shut the door, but it’s always opened again, gleefully. There is always some bullshit, some garbage, waiting for you that will unlock it. Again.

And this billboard. Emblematic.
I don’t just see it.

I see IT.

Fucking Teeth.
I enlarged them for your viewing pleasure.

A billboard showcasing the local talents of a Mexican radio disc jockey who yells out over Spanish radio.

All morning radio DJ’s annoy me. Let’s get that straight.
They are loud, they don’t shut up, they don’t chill.
They piss me off.
Throw in the added ingredient of a foreign language and the shit is amped up at least 15-fold.

Funny thing, this is not a an anti-Pilolin riff.

I don’t give a shit about the dude, I don’t care what he sounds like. I don’t even have a radio in my car.
Piolin might be a great guy.

You see, in L.A., that isn’t the point.

In the urban jungle you may amaze me with your personal wondrousness and your grand possessions.
But what kind of person are you?

You are a billboard.
You are famous.

You have an amazing smile.

Bedazzled, rattled.
Too much stimulus. I can’t live in a city of 3,000,000+ and a region of 10,000,000+.
Dude, you’re killing me.

I’m talking about 10,000,000 modern, high-tech inhabitants, each living a lifestyle which would probably be lusted for by many of the 20,000,000 who cluster Mexico City. There must be a mathematical formula which accrues for a personal value of each person based on his global footprint. The mark that ten million citizens of Los Angeles/Orange County/Inland Empire leave must easily overshadow that left by twenty million Mexico D.F. residents.

I can’t even imagine what the Eastern Seaboard is like. Now that is a serious population problem.

So there he is, Piolin.
Spanish radio DJ.
I’m convinced the wires, the cables, the poles, the disjunctions pervasive to city living, leave a footprint on our psyche.
You see this crap, day in, day out, of course it has an effect.
Though I can discount the sublimiinal influences, the nature of the attack is unseen!.
Modern city living is remorseless.

Those who know me can attest to the fact that I’m a whiner.
I whine.
About living in L.A.
I hate it.
I hate the city, I hate the crowds, I hate the vibe.
When I was 24, I almost moved to Portland, Oregon (hi Paul!).
I didn’t.

The city does not take well to me.
The urban landscape eschews me.

When I fall into this whiny rut, I hear the same pat answer each time: it won’t be much different in the country. People are the same everywhere.

Sure. Even their Teeth?
I’m not looking to escape. I need to get away from this.

** edit addition 3/5/10:
In the spirit of fomenting good blogkarma.
How many of you ladies would do this (or have done it): vajazzled