Sunday, March 20, 2011

L.A. Woman in the rain

Who said it never rains in Los Angeles? They were so wrong.

This morning I managed to get out by myself for a bit.

The weather was wild. The mountains were hidden under the weight of clouds, the rain was coming sideways, and the recent spring-like weather seemed to have skedaddled.

A feature of L.A. life is that supermarket car parks seem to be sprawled out around the buildings. There are are no sun shade cloths, and covered parking only really applies to the multi-level parking structures. I guess this is because people focus on the lack of rain.

It means that in summer, your car turns into an oven. I've always wondered why - for such a warm, sunny climate - sun shade cloths haven't been installed (like the ones on rooftop levels of car parks in Sydney). Palm trees may look pretty, but they don't exactly provide shade.

When it does actually rain, you get soaked - like I did today.

Driving home, I didn't mind being wet. I'd managed to acquire more hot cross buns, and was coasting along nicely on a caffeine buzz, feeling toasty warm inside the car.

I had the heat blowing onto my hands to thaw them out, and the steady vawp vawp vawp of the windscreen wipers transported me back to being a kid again. There's something so soothing about that sound, and feeling cocooned from the immediate wet landscape whizzing by.

And what a landscape this morning. The palm trees were swaying and the streets were littered with palm branches - resembling Miami in hurricane season instead of L.A. in spring.

The way these palm trees punctuated every corner I turned, every street I drove down... they reminded me of the inverted exclamation marks used for Spanish.

The soundtrack in my head was L.A. Woman by The Doors.

"The cars hiss by my window, like the waves down on the beach... "

It's an album that my parents played a lot when I was little, and an album that I know by heart. Every nuance, every beat.

That whole album is my lullabye. Even in my twenties, if I had trouble falling asleep at night, all I had to do was listen to L.A. Woman.

Tonight, that won't be necessary, though. I have the rain drumming on my window, and that sound is almost as soothing for me as Mr Mojo Risin's voice...


  1. Oooh I love the Doors. And what's with not having sunshades? I don't get it.

    There is a song (not by the Doors) called "It Never Rains in Southern California" which would date back to the early 1970s. The chorus goes "Seems it never rains in southern California, but it pours, man it pours".

  2. I love sleeping while listening to the sound of rain. Or the ocean. Or a nearby flooding river.

    Really, I'm a sucker for any kind of water.

  3. I was in that car with you, toasty warm, the wet world whizzing by.

    But in my version, I was stoned. I blame The Doors.

    Nice imagery, lady.

  4. Melbo - it rains here, it so does! It can really dump down hard, just not as often as Melbourne or Sydney.

    Megan - sleeping to the sound of the rain is the best. A flooding river could be interesting, though...

    Angie - my childhood association with The Doors is one of complete innocence. The association I have with them from my teens and early twenties is anything but innocent! Smoking weed and listening to The Doors went hand in hand, did they not?