The hills, as previously explained, were the former burial grounds of the ancient Angelenos who used otter fat in the absence of Botox. Where once the mighty Chief Cahuenga held court and uttered condolences to bereaved aborigines,  do I find my tenuous connection to this land.  Not a half mile away from my front stoop, North American civilization developed the minute beginnings of its ever burgeoning yen to be sedentary, and so they deemed the land sacred. And it is.

The portions that surround the swath, however, lack the same sort of transcendence. There is much beauty in a canvas sky hanging over  a muslin tree. But eventually the town’s beautiful gift for interpreting reality and giving it meaning folded in on itself. In attempting to render transient experience into beauty or put philosophy into pictures for an audience that consisted of the better part of the human race, the expansive factory of expression instead molded society into a black hole of expectations. In doing so, beauty became so common that any lack thereof was a call for scorn. Philosophy became trite zealotry--Love! Patriotism! Scotch!--and the dazzlingly earnest introspection of the previous renaissance was thrown in a jar and doled out in small intervals, mostly at art houses. And soon it became hard to say whether the vapidity of the commercially viable expression was a result of the vapidity of the culture at large, or vice versa. And even outside of commerce, either party could end the tail chasing at will if one of them would say “STOP! I HAVE A GODDAM BRAIN!”

In less scientific terms: though a million individual souls, each profound and intricate, find their home at the foot of these mystic hills (and the surrounding areas), the collective of souls form the most unappealing veneer.

I want to leave.

I want to leave with you.