Ode à l'odeur de LA

From My Novel In-Progress

Satori Dog | Friday 13 January 2017

All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe

It was, as always, a beautiful day for the respiratory apparati in Los Angeles. Iridescent orange-green air domed the basin from north to south like a gigantic overhead fake boob, while soft jasmine breezes wafted in the middle air, infusing a delicate bouquet into the shimmering sheen of carbon dioxide spewing upward from the tangled web of freeways sardined with idling automobiles. The chlorine-infused aquamarine glow from the city's forty thousand plus swimming pools cast a blue fill mirage through myriad palm tree gobos to those splotches of blue key that dared try to break through the gray, street level haze.

The heavy stench tickled the tip of the anterior nasal aperture like icing undulating atop a sentient cake of sugary toxicity, but there was only so much chlorinated jasmine carbon dioxide grime that the nasal hairs could filter as the tri-layered chemical cocktail began its trek from the upper respiratory cavity downward to the grape-bunched cluster of willing, and oh so naive, alveoli. The in breath was a joke, tragic and sad, and at the expense of the alveoli, for the oxygen carbon dioxide exchange of the organism at the capillaries found itself with carbon dioxide wanting both in and out, like two positive ends of a magnet, and an ongoing act of repelling, a last-ditch filtering attempt, was regularly made in the form of a series of small, itchy, involuntary coughs.

The lungs of second and third generation Los Angelenos had genetically evolved to gulp longer, deeper in breaths, more than the usual half liter, simply to try to get the minimal amount of oxygen needed for survival into the mix. An out breath was never guaranteed (as in every moment of life, one could argue) or to be without either minor or terminal discomfort. Thus, most natives and long-term transplants had also evolved socially, modulating their excitable speech atop their rapid exhalations, just in case that particular exhale be their last, hence the steady stream of self-styled solipsistically hip wisdom monologue spoutings from every corner of every modish bar, a never ending bill of one man shows delivered with pitch perfect aloof coolness and a strong, self-anointed sense of legally irrefutable integrity that the populace was well-known for within the vacuous cavernous legends of their lightweight minds.

In short, the simple act of breathing in LA felt like a 50-pound bag of wet cement was pressed down upon your chest, regardless if you were standing up, sitting down, or lying flat on your back overdosed. Every cell had to work extra LA hard every moment of every LA day for every breath, and at the end of the LA day, when all the cells gathered and settled around the gooey, viscous clubhouses of muscle, fat, and organ, they couldn't come up with one good reason why, given the noxious flow of unholy air they were given to work with, they shouldn't activate the specific genetic sequences that lie coiled within their DNA and initiate the process of rapid, terminal cancerous growth.

"Los Angeles" by Greg Molesky, 3 Elements Literary Review, Summer 2014

I know no matter what the waitress brings I shall drink it and always be full, and then I'll jump on the Facebook bandwagon and sign up for my mailing list! Love, Greg