I am aware, although not completely, that I would not be living in this city for much longer. At the stoplight, I count from September to December. Then I count from January to April. Then I count from April to September. Then I repeat the count. Somewhere in there, in the counting, I determine I have, at maximum, another six months in the city. It made sense.
I am looking at the homeless man to the left, on the corner next to the shopping storefronts. There are four parking spaces for six different businesses. One is a tobacco store. One is a donut shop. One is a burrito stand. One is a create-your-own Japanese bowl restaurant. One is something legal. His shirt is off. His skin is gleaming and tan. His faded jeans are around his ankles, piled above his sandals.
I am looking at his dick. It’s erect. He is unbelievably large. He is so much bigger than me, maybe bigger than every man behind me at this red light. A school bus flies by and the kids don’t even look up. He has a sign, pink-sharpie, ripped-cardboard, held up on his bare chest: LIVING IS HARD. I pour a small amount of coke in the dip between my left thumb and index finger to do a bump. Sniff sniff. Lick the little I can’t figure out how to sniff.
I am averting my gaze to the passing traffic. Tesla. Tesla. Tesla. Another school bus. Moving van with advertising in Spanish. Tesla. Blue convertible with a beautiful older woman in it, her dirty blonde hair flying behind in wind gust. Guy who never learned to fucking drive, blocking the intersection, Tesla. Honk. HONK HONK HONK. You motherfucker.
I am driving to the testing site. My big nose has been running and I can’t tell if it’s due to the recent onset of my coke problem or the current major pandemic. My one-man band is over. Yes, time to die. Tears in rain. Movie references for the past six months. Yeah, I know who Cassavetes is. Oh yeah, Man. 2046. That’s the one. That’s Kar-Wai’s best. Some moderately ethnic teen is almost turned into gibs by me when he goes past a redlight on those gig economy rentable scooters. Some real fever dream, Los Angeles. It’s all light, baby.