One morning after yoga, there was a pounding at the door. Mrs. Upinthevalley ventured out to see what the woman wanted. Agua! Agua, por favor! She was holding a full water bottle in her hand, which created some confusion. There was a brief tete-a-tete, then she shuffled on her way. She knocked on every door on the block, asking for water, while noshing on a bag of churros. No one knew who she was.
Consider this flag, at the midpoint of the Mulholland Bridge, at the entrance (or exit) from the Valley, halfway between here and the City, between two cranes raising a needless four-lane span on a two-lane road, an exercise in fraudulent contracting borrowed against the earnings of children not yet born, carried out in plain view of half a million cars a day. I took this picture on my way to a church picnic, a denomination dividing in half over the issue of gay marriage, which I support. Then I went home to Van Nuys, the Sanford, Florida of Los Angeles, and spent the remainder of the evening being angrily lectured by One-percenters on cable TV about what a terrible American I was for not disagreeing with a jury who found, based on unimpeachable forensic evidence, George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. I longed to be back on the bridge, noisy as it was, and remembered it was Bastille Day.