The Best Hour


3rd and Western Los Angeles, CA

Driving through Koreatown last night, on my way to Silver Lake, I came upon an old painted advertisement on the side of a building: “Coke. It’s the real thing.”

The slogan dates back to 1969. The sign is probably the same age.

The crappy, colorful, eclectic, gritty, fanciful city of Los Angeles is indifferent to pain and violence, mesmerized by pleasure and beauty.

It has only one best hour a day, a time when the sun is setting and the hot reds, oranges and yellows burn intensely, the blues and greens are drenched in salivating hues, and all the baked rage cools down.

After the long August day there was a full moon last night.

And it hung over Melrose as I crossed Virgil, turned onto Marathon and accelerated down into a valley of mustard colored crenelated castles, up a hill, past a bearded male jogger on Dillon tugging at his nylon shorts. I stopped at Silver Lake Boulevard waiting for the light to change and continued on Marathon, the white moon still glowing, now hanging in the sky behind an olive-green apartment.

The sun had set when I pulled up to Benton Way,parked curbside downhill, turned the wheels into the curb, and engaged the emergency brake.

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