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The Meaning of Rain in Los Angeles

April 11, 2012

It’s raining in Los Angeles.

I woke up in the middle of the night because it was pouring out. We had several windows open and, lying in bed, I heard the stereophonic chorus of drips and drops hitting the ground, streams of water rolling off the corner of our roof, and splashes as car tires raced through puddles on the street in front of our house. They’re driving down our street in the middle of the night because we live by three hospitals, across from the employee parking garage, and also because it’s Hollywood and we try our best not to rest or sleep.

I remember talking about the rain to Krissy in the middle of the night. Looking back, I think we were probably both asleep because I don’t remember what I said or if she responded. But it was a great conversation.

I love spring rain in Los Angeles because, as summer draws near, every rain could be our last for six or seven months. We don’t know if we’ll get any more until winter.

In beautiful and gross ways, the rain cleanses our city.

They say you shouldn’t swim in the ocean for one or two days after a rain because of all the storm and sewage drains filling and dumping into the ocean. That’s disgusting, but it’s a current reality of life in one of the biggest and dirtiest cities in the world.

They say that for every cubic meter of air in the city of angels, we have 25 micrograms of toxins hurting our lungs and our heart. My friends with asthma hate Los Angeles. People I know have developed allergies to the smog after living here for a few years. Their bodies literally are trying to reject the air needed to breathe.

We have birds who sit on the power lines by our house and do their business on our red car. I’ve grown sick of washing it every week, so now we just have a red car with polka-dots. But a good rain takes care of that.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a microgram before and, honestly, can’t visualize how big a cubic meter is, but, what I do know is when it rains the sky clears up. It’s like someone calibrates the sky’s autofocus which the micrograms gunked up. 25 for every meter cubed makes for some pretty blurry skylines, but a good rain gives us gorgeous mountains, crisp and linear cityscapes, and a sprawling skyline. All 100% in focus.

So I love when it rains.

It’s a good reminder that we are dirty people living dirty lives in a dirty city in a dirty world.

And that there’s some hope we can be saved from it all.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy permalink
    April 11, 2012 5:29 pm

    I love your post. I hate the idea of what you guys are breathing every day.I hope it rains alot until you move back to the clean air of the midwest. Someday?

    • April 12, 2012 3:08 pm

      ha, no reason to worry, it’s only 25 micrograms! Someday!

  2. The Real Zajac permalink
    April 23, 2012 3:37 am

    It is a form of baptism: the old, dirty, sinful city is washed away and buried at sea, replaced with a clean, glistening, heavenly city. At least Southern California feels clean after the rain; New York City smells like wet garbage after it rains.

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