Thursday, March 17, 2011

Geographical Tourette's

Do you think it's possible that geography can cause Tourette's? I live in Los Angeles. I moved here 10 years ago with my boyfriend (now my husband) and my daughter who was then 2 (and is currently just starting the universally known "Disaffected Youth Syndrome" - or DYSyouman. My other daughter, now 4 was born with DYSyouman). I swear (literally) that "shit" comes pouring into my brain and puddles out of my mouth the moment that I cross into the LA area. I feel joyful and relaxed coming back from visiting friends and family in San Diego. I'm watching the sun rays play through the June gloom along the coast of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. I'm blissfully reclined in the leather seat of my long-fought-against Honda minivan (yes folks, we chose the Honda) listening to Wilco or Arcade Fire, belly full from the coveted Los Panchos machaca burrito. Then, as though someone rammed a hot poker up my ass, I sit straight up in that reclined leather seat, curl my upper lip, jut my teeth out as far as they can buckfully extend, add more crevasse to my aging forehead, lengthen my neck in a damn good giraffe imitation, emphatically point and yell "hey you stupid motherfucker! what the fuck do you fucking think your doing you shit-eating ass-wipe! you and your motherfucking Mercedes need to pick a fucking lane you fuck-all idiotic bastard shit-fuck!" After I recover from this fit of peak, I look around at the faces of my family: older daughter in silent awe, wondering when this behavior will be acceptable for her; younger daughter with raised eyebrows which say "your in a s*&tload of trouble mom"; and my husband wondering what the hell happened to his wife and can he trade this crazy in for a new one? I then slowly look out of the front windshield through burning smog-laden sunset and discern the highway sign which reads: Cherry Ave next exit. Yes, we've officially crossed over the LA county line, and all car-joy has vacuously disappeared only to be replaced with frothy loathing and label-ridden judgements for all others on the infamous 405 freeway. Mercedes (by far the worst offenders) are filled with oblivious road-owners of elitist money-hungry Diasporas. BMW's carry fierce ladder-climbing Ayn Rand-ers and are the second worst offenders. Then there's the super SUV class of middle class nobles displaced in the LA area from New Jersey. Here you have the minivan moguls with their stick figure "family portrait" stuck to the back window next to the "baby on board" sign who drive 50 in the carpool lane and beg for the finger. (side note: I now play the minivan card as often as possible on the road for the sake of revenge. So if you are aggressively approaching that minivan and it seems to slow down considerably and the driver looks like an oblivious soccer mom with her oversized sunglasses and ponytail, she slowed down on purpose to see how pissed you might get - haha). Finally, here in LA, you have the owner of the Prius, who feels that any other car on the road in a monstrosity, all while inhaling that Big Mac after tossing their lighted butt out of the window. These thoughts and ideas permeate my view of the world, now that I have entered what I call "the asshole zone". Every morning, before I get in the car to drive my kids to school, I tell myself "here is another opportunity to rise above your GT (Geographical Tourette's) and feel positively about those on the road around you". So far, I have not been successful in this personal challenge and although I do refrain from shouting my protestations aloud while my children are held hostage to NPR in one of my 6 available backseats, I find the stream of profanity is alive and well, zooming around in my brain, bashing around the lobes, jumping on my cerebellum and pushing against the back of my teeth begging for escape. I am, however it may seem to you now, an optimist. I will still actively seek to overcome my GT. I will continue to challenge myself everyday to thinkgoodthoughts and liveingenerosity. I will work to catch that foul phrase before it jumps into the dog-stale air of my car. In the meantime, I am also researching others places to live. Far Far Far Far away from LA.

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