Tomorrow I fly out to Los Angeles. Back to the land of High Life, Colony of Whores and, later in the month when I drive north, the Gold Rush country of Empty Mile.
Since writing High Life I've been back to The States, of course. But not back to California. Not back to LA.
It possessed me the first time, lived up to every TV/movie expectation. What I'd seen on the screen through all the long-distance years as a kid in Australia wasn't just set-dressing and camera-illusion. It was real. The roads and the cars and the houses and the money and the lives lived as dreams - these weren't backdrops to screenwriters' stories. Not for me. For me they were the story.
At least back then, back when I returned to my cold London bedsit and sat down at a makeshift desk and wrote about a hot rain blowing in from the sea, and about the mad elite of a city whose elite is madder than anywhere else in the world. I wonder if, after all these years, the palms and the stucco and the Spanish tile and the young and the beautiful will still hold something of that magic.