Literature In Los Angeles


In LITERARY FICTION on September 27, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Right before the 10 merges into the 405, she’s nowhere to be seen.

I hope the 405 will become the 101 to Hollywood.
It won’t. It just becomes a dead exit two bikers take.
From a helicopter, I follow the ferocity of their competition and I wonder why.
Why the helicopter, if I was driving.

I land on the sidewalk of the amaranth field.
Shades of giants play hockey on the sand and a miniature couple ice-skates in between.
I wonder if concrete wouldn’t be better and concrete becomes the road under my feet,
at the same ruleless speed of the bikes’ run.

Over the next scene, everything slows down in the middle of nothing.
The wild ride slithers into the motionlessness of a palm, a red land and a cold lake.
The dream, the truth and in between.

Now I can see the final place visitors have to discover, here in Los Angeles.
A shimmering shoreline of shivering divers, white Range Rovers and forest trees.
Nothing really match around the waters within I still look for what I don’t.

Unexpectedly, I catch her again.
I spot her innocence through the bicycle on the verge of the lake.
The handlebar reclined toward the sun, the wheels waiting for her sandals, the saddle afraid to slide down into the water.

She glides out of the waves and the carelessness she abandoned her paternal gift with
fades into the green headband above her blonde eyes.
Sixteen candles, elusive thin skin and pale long legs.

I follow her.
She walks into the other room; into her country bedroom.
The pink, the wood and the dolls.

She tries to call the city theatre.
A thousand difficulties pick up the phone.
A southern childhood tries to sell her something. Something she never wanted to buy; something from someone who produces porn in the Valley.

She hangs up and a white Range Rovers parks under her window.
She runs and hides under the bed.

The two dogs find her.
Freddy walks in behind and asks why she has just denied him, on the phone.
She looks down and says she didn’t know about the porn.
When she looks back up, he’s vanished.

Bella and Rottweiler start fighting.
Bella and Rottweiler.
Two heroes in her teenage years of dreaming misery.

She pushes the silver door and the black veil garden discloses its latest enchants to her red petal lips. She turns them to her faithful companions and invite their devotion into the perpetual relief of all their runs and fights….


An intrusive noise of blades slowly reconnects my lungs to an unusual pic of what I use to call sky. A blue uniform is holding my head up and starts screaming …she’s back!! Come on guys she’s back!!! Let’s take off!! Come on come on come on!!

My right hand tries to reach down to this afternoon of fire sinking in a pool of blood between my thighs. I want to sweetly dip it into the cold waters of the lake. But, the path to it is burst into a million little rocks by the blue uniform’s imploration: Do – not – leave!! Stay – with – me!! Girl, can you hear me?!? Ok, listen… my name is John…. what is your name??? Tell me – your – name….

His crisis waltz distracts me for a second. But, the next I’m back to the black veil garden.
Bella and Rottweiler are still fighting and, from the silver door, I invite them to follow me. One step down and the three of us will be together – once again.
I try to explain that to John but, my words have no sound.

Nevertheless, he hears them.
He hears us. Bella, Rottweiler and me.
The summers, the dreams and the screams.
The rides, the bike and the lake.
The runaway, the valley and the shame.
He hears the years, the lies and the memories.
His hand grabs mine and her voice of black flowers finds a way through my garden’s cage of silence: U-lya-na….

Sixteen candles, elusive thin skin and pale long legs.
No matter what happened later, something’s never changed.

Good job Ulyana… great job!! Now, Ulyana, keep listening to me….
I try, John… but, the deaf noise of these helicopter blades mixed with what I can envision only as a thousand cars stuck in an endless line takes over…. And, suddenly, I remember it all: the 10, the bridge and the 405.
Driving to Freddy. To the Valley.
The heat. The tears. The courage. I need it.
The I-Phone.  The video. Bella. Rottweiler. And me.
The pics. That last summer.  And our song, playing forever in my car :
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find….

And then… what?
John, here, now, again.
His blue uniform.
The Ray-Bans in his pocket.

The dream, the truth and in between.
That’s where John, Bella, Rottweiler and I stand, in this cloudless moment.
The lake disappears, the silver door to the black veil garden slowly closes and the helicopter takes off from the bridge’s highest point of our four lives hanging on. Together.

Story by Liliana Isella.

Photo by Peter Lindbergh.


*Under the Milky Way by Church

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