My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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July 16th, 2013

Morning Commute

Here is a conversation I’ve been having a lot recently:

Friend: Hi Liz. I see your goiter is reducing. That’s nice. How’re things?
Liz: Oh, thank you so much for noticing. Yes, the leeching has been going really well. Besides that… let’s see. Oh! Well, I started a new job about a month ago.
Friend: No shit, a new job! Well, that’s great! Where are you working?
Liz: I work for a writer on a TV show.
Friend: That’s cute. But what I’m asking is WHERE do you work?

And then I tell them about my drive in each morning.

First, I exit the freeway into a deeply “industrial” part of the city. And not hipster industrial, either. Like, it’s mostly building supply and storage companies down there. The area appears to be vying for some kind of Most Improved 2014 award, because it is home to no fewer than one trillion construction zones. This is always a huge fat mess because everywhere you turn, there’s some dick in an orange vest trying to text and drive a forklift. In fact, the other day, I was almost hit head-on by a semi being driven by a guy who appeared to just be looking at his own lap. The truck started to veer into my lane and finally he looked up from what I can only guess was either a rapidly spreading pee stain or some lint that looked like Jesus, and jerked the wheel to his right. I was at a dead stop at this point, looking at him with my brow furrowed. He just smiled at me and shrugged as if to say, “Hey, how ’bout that lint?” Then he drove off to buy more Funyuns.

So I get onto the main street down there, which runs parallel to, get this, some train tracks. I dodge construction workers and errant cones, stop at broken lights and wave at the labor exchange fellows. Then, I have to cross the tracks, which is great, because I think the city transportation planner died in the middle of making this particular intersection. You’ve got two freeway onramps and two off ramps, traffic going in all four directions, with left and right turns being made. Then, you’ve got the train tracks running through the middle of the intersection with just enough room for ONE car to stop before being creamed by the 4:25 to San Diego. So there’s always gridlock there. Or else some dimwit stops on the tracks.

Once I’m across the tracks, I’m in the homestretch. Just a few dirty scrap yards to pass and I’m in my office. I drive past a brewery and a furniture “showroom” which has no actual windows that I’ve ever seen. There’s a cold-looking Korean church and terrifying, dilapidated beauty school that you cannot unsee. Then, as though the entire drive didn’t already resemble a Tom Waits song, I see the absolute best combination of establishments:

The Gentlemen's Club & Plumbing Supply 2That’s right! It’s an all-nude strip club and an industrial plumbing supply store, sharing a wall! Here’s a black and white photo, to really capture the class:

The Gentleman's Club & Plumbing Supply 1I love this concept so much that I’m going to have this photo professionally printed and framed to put in my house.

Just a quick parting side note: The rendering of the nude silhouettes makes it look as though the woman on the far left  is suffering from severe lower bowel distress while her two friends hold their noses. And, although they’re totally nude while all of this is going on, it still doesn’t feel like a “draw.” But, I mean, maybe that’s exactly what the clientele of a strip club down by the tracks that shares its northern wall with a plumbing supply company wants: naked, farting women. I don’t know. I’m really not an expert. I just happen to work in the area.

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