Someone back east asked how L.A. feels about this big snow.
I explained that a small segment of the population (15%) seems to hate it, while a larger segment (55%) seems to appreciate the unprecedented weather — how it plasters the local mountains, and the way a passing winter storm leaves behind our shiniest, most-stunning days.
The other 30% of Angelenos are so stoned or so loopy that they don’t even realize it has snowed.
I don’t know where I fit into all this, and I’m really concerned about my son Smartacus, whose Holy Bible seems to be his cellphone. Won’t even look up at me as he wonders aloud whether I love him or not.
Dude, if you have to ask…
Honestly, as I make breakfast, he sits there on his phone, watching crude TikTok skits, or twerking teens who are setting back feminism some 400 years.
As I explain to him, my so-called “love language” is breakfast. Food is how his late mother poured her heart out, and now it’s the way I pour my heart out as well.
His mom also randomly hugged him and ruffled his hair. I don’t do much of that. But I will, on occasion, smack him on the butt or scratch his back.
Like many young men, he itches a lot.
“SHOWER!” I urge, which seems a reasonable request. If we had a pond, I’d just hurl him in.
Suzanne bought us some plush new bath towels, which might help with his itchiness. They are minky soft, the kind you get at the Four Seasons and think: “Really wish I had towels like this at home.”
Now we do.
Suzanne gets things done. I don’t necessarily hold that against her.
I explain to her that I tend to chip away at tasks, finishing them incrementally, one careful brush stroke at a time.
Know anyone like that? Don’t change them. Their emotional fly wheel relies on a meticulous approach to simple projects. They are their own careful comfort zones.
Indeed, I make lists, study how-to videos, I ask around. “Hmmm, wonder if I painted the fireplace? Wonder if we took out the kitchen and put in a small brewery?”
I’m like the village blacksmith — if he produced one horseshoe a month.
Seems like forever that I’ve been talking about redoing the front yard. Apparently, our pet werewolf (White Fang) has grown bored tearing up the old yard, so I think it wise to give her a nice new yard to plunder.
Feel me now?
Personal note: I was in the midst of putting in new sprinklers when my older son died five years ago, and I’ll never forget the dozens of friends who showed up at the house to pay their respects, only to find trenches snaking this way and that, as if I were putting in a subway system.
Finally, my buddy (Big Wave Dave) came by and helped me finish the sprinkler system. Sadly, I’d become the target of random acts of pity.
Thanks again, Big Wave. What are you doing Saturday?
In my defense, in the last year I have finished a screenplay and a decent book that will come out in October, probably to lukewarm reviews, if it gets any notice at all.
Promise me you’ll never write a book. Really, you have a better shot at playing for the Lakers.
Unfortunately, the only thing I do quickly, and with any ease, is to write.
I don’t ponder, I don’t mull, I waddle right in with mixed results.
Listen, you could build a nice bonfire with the regrets I’ve had, or the apologies I never sent, or the calls I forgot to return.
I’m a hesitant man – hardly bold or dynamic, the way good men often are.
I mean, look how rosy I get when I drink. Ruddy as a sunset on Mars. Red as a Red Sox rally.
That is the sign of a writer, probably – a ruddy man with swirling thoughts and a very spotty ability to articulate them. Dear gawwwwwd.
Yet, “We are lonesome animals,” as Steinbeck noted, and we spend all our lives trying to be less lonesome.
So, once in a while, if you continue to write, you might produce something that lonely souls might cherish…some little phrase that will lift their tender spirits, as they think: “This goof really gets me. Is he mad? Who hid his lithium?”
Look, we’re all a little crazed, artists or not. Isn’t that great?
And on these radiant winter days, isn’t it fantastic to be so full of notions and passions and dreams that you don’t even know how to start?
In that case, you’re probably a writer.
For past columns, or for books, or for the handsomest damn gin glasses you ever probably saw, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Thank you.