When I woke on Monday, I looked out on my cousin’s backyard in Denver to see four inches of snow on the ground. As I drove through Denver on my way west, I saw some cars still partially covered in snow. When I returned to LA, a friend, whose work parking lot is outdoors, told me he had had to scrape ash from the car.
The air was crisp and clean in the Rockies and the desert and open spaces of Utah and Nevada. When I returned here, you could smell the smoke (from the wildfires) in the air. The stars were completely blocked at night. I wonder if this is how LA was in the ’70s before people become sensitive to the environment.
On Monday, I had to walk across an icy parking lot in Denver to get to Starbucks for my morning coffee, taking a short cut over a snow-covered traffic island. Yesterday, stopping in Mesquite, Nevada, I had to walk through a casino to get to the Starbucks there. Even at that early hour (just before 9 AM), people were already gambling, mostly senior citizens, many drinking and a good number smoking.
I’ve always found casinos depressing places, maybe it’s the contrast between the sad-looking people so focused on the machines, pulling the levers and pushing the buttons almost like machines themselves, and the images of happy, celebrating people in the prime of life we see in advertisements for such establishments.
One of the many contrasts I noted on my journey.