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Camera Roll: Late-Night Los Angeles Musings

and he will go with you

It's written on a Silverlake sidewalk. I snap a picture of it after a drinks meeting, feeling a sliver of meaning that escapes me in the moment.

Drinks. I'm off-and-on again about the way my industry works, using alcohol to generate connections between ladder-climbers. At best, I meet new friends and collaborators who challenge and change me. At worst, I leave feeling a kind of transactional emptiness or glum boredom that sticks like residue in my mind hours later as I strip away my trendy clothes and list of accomplishments.

This city can feel disparate without these points of contact. Different neighborhoods might as well be different countries. My love language when I lived on the westside was "let's meet somewhere near you."

I forget it frequently, but our environments shape us. We are the sum of the three people and three places that we spend the most time in. When I remember, I do a mental tally. How often have I been to Paper or Plastik this week? Can I embody a cold brew in my daily existence?

But what really bothers me about drinks and fleeting connections is when we're stuck in small talk. Our worlds are so large and expansive that wasting time on small talk might as well be a ticking clock to the grave. What happens when we expose our fears, get vulnerable instead of hide behind bravado? How will the person sitting across from us react? Why are we afraid of being lost when we're already losing ourselves in mundanity?

I think back to the words etched in the pavement:

and he will go with you

and remember those who lit up as we moved past the weather and weekend plans. Those who bravely shared their hopes and fears.

and he will go with you

Or, he won't. And that's okay, too.


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