“Did you have a good day?”
“Yeah! Did you?”
“Pretty good so far. Just started my shift.”
“Great. Well, I hope this one is exceptional. See you tomorrow then?”
“See you! Bye-bye.”
I keep my window rolled down so I can high-five the attendant at the parking garage where I park when I’m in Hollywood for my internship. Even though I’m only there for about five minutes a day, three days a week, this guy and I have almost naturally fallen into a routine of checking in with each other at the end of the workday. I don’t know his name, but he’s been kind to me since my very first day of interning, and he’s got a firm, well-executed high-five that even my high school soccer coach would envy. We’ve got the mechanics down to a science, and the resulting clap echoes satisfyingly off the concrete interior.
So far, I’ve found that Los Angeles is teeming with little surprises like this. Whether that’s a brilliant sunset visible through the windows of the SULA building while on break for class, a free parking space in what seems like an apocalyptic gridlock of cars along side streets, or hastily scrawled graffiti on the back of a stop sign encouraging passerby to “DO UR THING,” LA’s backdrop to the relentless whirlwind of the entertainment industry is one of encouragement and inspiration. Living here surrounded by what I hope will be the reality of my future has been humbling, exciting, but most of all, so much fun. Not a day goes by that I don’t experience something hilarious or horrifying that I can share with my roommate until our laughter is punctuated by snorts and wheezes. So far, this has included overreacting about D-list celebrity sightings in the gym, taking a chance on a $10 celery-beetroot smoothie that tasted like absolute garbage, and convincing our friend to break moral code and bribe a DJ to let him cut the karaoke line (and deliver a groundbreaking performance of “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.”) As we get more and more used to living here, my hope is that we’ll venture further out of our comfort zones, and mine for all the memories that lay waiting for us to stumble upon.
It’s been over a month, but I still feel like a newbie every day. I intend to maintain this perspective for the rest of the semester, so I can try to soak in everything this city has to offer—new experiences, new stomping grounds, new people. My parking garage friend will hopefully be the first of many…though I doubt anyone can top his high-five.