Valley of the Shadows

Fight the powers that be! I’m talking about non-conformity!

But I’ll tell you the truth I’d like to be an undercover non-conformist. A little conformity is a comforting thing. Enough to get through the door.

‘Cause I always think I’m a little off. Not quite like all the other non-conformists. As if I am unaware of the three sheets of toilet paper dragging off my shoe.

Somehow, if I start talking about what’s on my mind, people give me a blank stare and say, “Whatever.”

But I’ve got the floor, and you don’t, so I’m going to speak my mind.

I got this new job. And I’ve moved to a new place. Okay, I’ll be honest I bought a house–one that June Cleaver would be proud of, with a lemon tree in the front and roses on the side.

This freaks me out a little. Because I do not want to wear a twin set and eat off the kitchen floor. I want to be that creative artist type that stays up all night drinking and toking with their other creative friends and being REAL.

Isn’t that what the L.A. life is all about? Except I don’t’ drink much and I don’t like drugs. And I get really sleepy around nine thirty, so no one would hang out with me.

I guess that’s the life in West L.A. I live on the East East of L.A., and I am just like everyone else here. We get up early and speed to beat the sunrise, speed to the screeching halt of the bumper in front driving 5, 20, 10, stop and then start again with the miles per hour for the hour or the hour and a half that it takes to finally stop at the parking lot and the padded cell walls of the cubicle.

It’s not so bad. I like mornings. And maybe this is the real L.A. after all. Maybe you crazies from the West are going to crash and burn back to where you came from while we east enders drop the grains of sand into our 401Ks ’til our time runs out, the mortgage is paid or we retire–whichever happens last.

Maybe this is the real L.A. Los Angeles is full of Valleys, did you know? Any dip between these many hills is a valley.

Quite honestly, I love my commute. I drive a short jaunt on the 10, exit left and downshift my manual transmission down to 3rd so I can power up the crest of the 57. Below me, just at sunrise, the North Horizon is a range of green tree and gray rock mountains, which, when hit by the slant light of dawn, get pink or orange or purple mountain majesties.

This is the San Gabriel Valley. Yes, the Holy Angel Gabriel, the mouthpiece of God. And I hear it every morning, the messenger of God proclaiming that I am redeemed.

But that is the second valley of my daily journey. I had to climb to enter the Angel’s valley. I asked around and discovered that I live in Pomona Valley. Pomona is the name chosen for this place when it had few houses and more fruit trees. Pomona is the Goddess of the harvest. I dwell in the Valley of the Goddess. Which is most excellent, because I am the Queen of Pretty Things. It’s a long story, but I’ve been the Queen of Pretty Things for almost seven years now, a position which carries a lot of responsibility. As the Queen, I am pleased to find my dominions in the Valley of the Goddess.

As to be greeted by the Valley of Voice of God, traveling through it every day to the very end. I know it is the very end of the San Gabriel Valley, because my cube window faces a big Rock. The rock is part of a mountain, and where there is a mountain, on the other side is a Valley. This valley is well known: the San Fernando Valley.

Fernando…OOooo Fernando…ABBA? This is the Valley of the Dancing Queen.

I travel there less frequently. I suppose that’s just as well.