Waiting for Zooey Deschanel

Waiting for Zooey Deschanel
Matt Lucas

I left as the sun set. The steering
wheel was in my hands for 7 hours. My foot hovered over the gas petal
alternating a heaviness with a light touch. The speedometer measured
my rate of progress. The tires of the automobile took me further down
the forever highway to my destiny.

The banality of work was too much for
me. I’d seen her image everywhere, in everything. I was enraptured,
enthralled. I couldn’t think of anywhere to meet her that would be
more appropriate than in Los Angeles, the city of angels. I left
work, and home, to sip a moment of time with her.

I came into the city late in the
evening and passed the remainder of the hours encouraging my capacity
with alcohol. I woke in the morning, bleary eyed. The coffee that I
drank burned in my stomach. The dark liquid corroded the remainders
of cheap alcohol. The caffeine stabilized my alcoholic shakes.
The sun was out but so were the dreary
grey clouds. There was a June gloom in the sky and it was only April.
Spring had blossomed in the desert land yet the glories of summer
hadn’t touched my face quite yet.

I took the train from Lincoln Heights
to downtown. The public train slowly went over the mighty L.A. River.
The water sludged downstream, a mixture of liquid and algae. The
industrial buildings around the water stood solemnly by its cement
banks, guardians of the river’s passage.

I got off in Little Tokyo and walked
through downtown. The brutal buildings of the area dominated the
landscape. The towering structures were reminiscent of some warped
concrete socialist utopia, controlling the populous through spacial
construction. The streets were wide and open, Hausmann’s dream. The
eyes of the towers were peering down on me as I walked through the
metropolitan area. I arrived at a small public market and bought a
Looking up the hill I saw the park
where I would wait for her. The park could be reached by a series of
stairs which I admonished. Instead I took the funicular train.

The train was built to shuttle the
bourgeois of Bunker Hill to their homes. It was shut down in 1969,
after 60 plus years of operation, when the hillside went through a
redevelopment period. The area had become run down, and the city
decided to wipe out the area’s Victorian abodes, replacing them with
modern business mix use commercial structures. The train was reopened
in the mid nineties but closed quickly afterwards due to the death of
an old man when the downward train came like a juggernaut down the
hillside. The train went to its original funicular system and has
been in operation since. As I looked on it, I thought not of the
perpetuation of my class status but of rising above it, not only
physically, but emotionally. The train would take me up the hill and
to the park where I would meet my starlet love.

The train was slow. I sat next to a
family of tourists. They gaped and pointed at the smoggy skyline. I
looked down on the market below me. I could see the mensch of the
market as I moved upward towards my fate.

I was shuttled to a commercial park.
The public space was molded with modernist architecture. A light
fountain streamed over the edge of a small man made cliff. A stage
was centered in the arena for shows. During the summer we would walk
from the park to see the bands play. The guitars would sing out to
the cloudless sky, the singer’s voice would croon love songs just for
the two of us, I thought.

I moved away from the sculpted arena
to a nearby park. The park was occupied by a few homebums. I sat on a
bench that overlooked the city. It was my favorite spot in the urban
landscape. My view was ruined though by the commercial real estate,
factories for the modern drones, the parking lots and highways, the
infrastructure for the sovereign good of society – the automobile.
What was beautiful though, was that in this mess, this spectacular
scene, was that I would be joined soon by the love of my life.

Reigning logic has told me, and
confirmed in the articles I read in the newspaper, in the movies I
watch, and the television that I see, along in the words of my
friends, that if I work hard enough and take hold of the dream that
it would be realized. I dreamed of her. I dreamt so hard that it hurt
my eyes.

I knew that she would come here because of the movie placard. If she
met Tom here, she would surely meet someone far better than that douche.
The sun kept me warm for hours. It seeped into my bones.
At any point she would come. The sun began to set and I was even
more anxious for her to come, she’d be missing on
the sleeping star, saying good night to us. The moon
slowly rose, offering a faint glow that cut through the smoggy clouds
like my unflagging devotion cut through the misery of society. I
waited for Zooey Deschanel for a long time. I’ll admit that in these
hours I’ve had my doubts. Why not just descend back into the
population? Live a life without her according to my own desires, but
then, the spectacular image of us dancing on the world’s stage sweeps
me up and keeps me rooted in my seat, passively waiting on the
hillside for my love, Zooey Deschanel. I’ll wait for her now, here,
and if she doesn’t come tomorrow, I’ll wait some more.

8 thoughts on “Waiting for Zooey Deschanel

  1. And I thought I was the only one siting alone on a bench in that park waiting for her.

  2. What a soothing article….Pace by Pace and step by step and little patience wins the race.

  3. I was prepared to say, “that’s creepy,” but then I thought: How sweet?

  4. Naw, that IS definitely in the realm of stalking. If you love Zooey, let her go. If she stays away then she was never yours to begin with. If she comes back then she’s yours to keep.

  5. When I sat on the bench I looked out at the landscape of L.A. I’ve never lived in the city, but I love it. It is all the things I love about a city; dismembered, unfettered, confused, and it is all the things that I hate; pollution, traffic, sprawl, and most of all boring ass residents. When I looked on the skyline sitting on the bench I thought to myself how can I at once pay tribute and at the same time critique this city? This story is that.

    I understand that my writing may not be read as sarcasm, or tragedy, of which it was intended to be both. After you write a piece it takes a life of its own, for better or for worse.

    I recently had a friend tell me that she wished I would explain more, disperse with the terse sentences. I suppose this verbosity is due to her.

    First this story is a critique of the spectacle. If you don’t understand what I mean by the spectacle I suggest you read some of Larry Law’s “Spectacular Times” online, if you’re feeling particularly full of gumption look up the situationists, and Society of the Spectacle.

    Secondly this is a critique of a city that is built around the movie industry. Everything falls away to the things on stage. The character in the story, a shadow of me, is enthralled with a moving image, not a real person. Who knows what Zoey Deschanel is really like? Personally I bet she is boring, boring, and Boring with a capital B. Yet L.a. is a city built around the love of the starlet. What barista doesn’t have a film script in their back pocket, hoping in some deluded Horatio Alger way, that by loudly and annoyingly talking about their shitty screenplay that they will be jettisoned from their making of crap cappuccinos for a luxurious life? Soon the barista will be whisked away to a life full of all that has been denied to them!

    My third point is that this story is a critique of space. Space within contemporary society is guided by the hand of capital. Architecture and urban planning is our daily alienation made material. It is the traffic jams, the shitty skylines, the trams that do little purpose than attract bastard tourists, it is the brutalist architecture of downtown L.a.

    Finally this is a critique of the idea of romantic love, that pining away for some girl will get you the lady. It is simply not true. Love is a socially constructed phenomenon that relies on a variety of gendered cues. Our emotions are wed to our social structure, and thus love is sadly economical.

    matt lucas

  6. Got the metaphor and the culture of decay references. The decay of LA, icons and people on the fringes of Hollywood during hard economic times are all there in Nathaniel West’s Day of the Locust (1939).

  7. “It is simply not true. Love is a socially constructed phenomenon that relies on a variety of gendered cues. Our emotions are wed to our social structure, and thus love is sadly economical.”

    I found this statement interesting. And I agree on the social construction, but is all romantic love economical? Or do you mean that you economically frame it in your story as such to critique that love fantasy in the movies?

    PS. This sentence made me laugh: “I arrived at a small public market and bought a smoothie.” Ah, yes, the the essence of the west coast smoothie.

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