This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Secret Spy Stash

You think you’re anonymous there sitting on the bus. You briefly glance up from your Margot Kidder paperback and see me benignly working on a word search. I look focused on finding all the Greek mythology figures that begin with the letter “H.”

Ah, but you’re missing out. I’m a writer and this is my ruse. I’m watching you with your reading glasses, your brown trousers, and those dress socks you've folded neatly to accentuate your boring, brown loafers. I imagine you're a librarian with all the free paperbacks you could ever wish for. I nickname you "Marian The Librarian" in my head and wonder silently why (with all those free books) you look so irritable and unhappy. You see, it's not just today. I see you often on the bus, and you always have the same unfriendly demeanor.

And this, is precisely why I take the bus…in L.A. even though I have a car and ( at least for now, I have money for gas.)

Writers are sly. We eavesdrop, we stare, and we viciously write down details about you and the little conversation you’re having on your cell phone. We take note of what you’re reading, what you’re wearing, and your most interestingly charactery mannerisms.

You think that you’ll never be famous, but we write about you -- well, parts of you, merged along with swirls of color from other people we’ve met along the way… names changed, of course. We fill notebooks with character information and observations-- our secret spy stash for later.

Taking the bus is more than just an eco-friendly journey toward my day job – it’s an encapsulated experience to observe people I’d otherwise never come in contact with --if I limited myself only to the Californian ‘car culture commute.’ ( And yes, I also take the subway)

Writers must go out of their way to experience more than just the celebrity smut-ness and reality-obsessed television and fantasy-land of L.A. All that Hollywoodland sugar takes us further and further away from the plights of ordinary people. And believe it or not, those we deem as “ordinary” actually have the most interesting stories--which is why I pay attention to you, sitting on the bus by yourself…

Someday you might actually smile.

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