We were hiking up the hill at Griffith Park the other day, on a crisp blue Sunday morning. It’s a ritual in LA to join the strivers on the day of rest, to bring the dogs, feel the burn and march up to at least the height of the Hollywood sign where, quite perfectly, there’s an observatory – so many here are reaching for the stars in one way or another.
Ahead of us, a postcard – a mom and toddler trudging up the slopes, they looked so sweet, it must be Christmas. But the poor little thing, he was having a moment. This is what he heard as we passed.
“But Mom you said just a few steps.”
“Yes, just a few more. Look, we’re so near the top.”
“I don’t want to!”
“But we’re almost there, honey. Look, everyone’s walking past us. Come on, let’s catch them!”
“Listen, sweetie, I know it’s not easy. But life’s not easy. This is LA honey. It’s a tough town.”
“I want to go HOME!”
“But no one comes half way and just stops. Look around! You have to go to the top. That’s the whole point. You need to finish things in life. Because if you give up on this, you’ll give up on everything, one thing after another, until you’ve got no confidence left and it’s just you, alone in a shitty bedsit in Boyle Heights with the wreckage of your dreams around your feet, eating ramen noodles and jerking off into a sock, dribbling out your last sad, teardrop and then quietly rolling onto your side and staring into space. Is that what you want?”
“I like noodles.”