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Los Angeles Baptism

It is the seventeenth day of rain in Los Angeles,

But we are currently in the eye of the storm.

I am bewildered by the rain.

I've only lived here for about two years,

And in all that time,

Have never experienced such downpour in the city.


On my way to the reservoir

My driver says we needed this,

And I chuckle.

I felt like shit holed up in my shoebox.

Life almost wasn't worth it.

It's easy to sit indoors all day during the rain

And get wrapped up in your thoughts.

But today I got ready, decided I needed fresh air.

Yeah, we needed this,

I repeat back to him.


When I get to the reservoir,

It's all petrichor and no places to sit

So I putz around and watch the turtles blow air bubbles.

The bubbles reach the surface of the water and burst.

I like to imagine that these are their thoughts,

Finally escaping and reaching sunlight.

I wonder if the turtles get sad being in a man-made lake.


Did the turtles ever wonder how they got there?

Do they remember their lives before?

How do they feed themselves?

How do they make a living here?

Do they ever dream of getting out?


I might die here, I say under my breath.

In Los Angeles, I mean.

I might chain-smoke myself to death

Or accidentally look the wrong way while merging towards San Pedro.


I stand still and relax my eyes, tilting my head upward to face the sky,

But I haven't died yet, I say.


The eye of the storm has passed and the drizzle returns.

A woman on a bike rides past me and she chuckles at,

What I can only assume,

Is the sight of this small person basking in the rain,

Totally underdressed for the weather.

We needed this, she says.

I smile and say

Yes, we needed this.

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