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Like most weekdays, this started with a cupcake.

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But then, there’s always a cupcake. There’s always some cupcake-like object of affection tempting me from a desk around the corner, begging me over with a mass email message:

CONGRATULATIONS!

CUPCAKES!!

COME!

CONSUME!

….NOW!

 (Subtext: I will make your Monday more magical and marvelous and merry than you can possibly imagine. I promise. Moron.)

And I’m like, DAMMIT. Immediately, I begin weighing in the pros and cons in a figurative scale in my head, like there is a chance I may decline.  And well, if I eat a cupcake for breakfast and I forgot to bring my lunch, then the cupcake can survive as breakfast slash early lunch, there’s an egg in it (dairy) and wheat (grains) and it’s carrot cake flavored? That’s pretty much a vegetable. Ok, whatever, enough chit-chat. THIS WORKS. Breakfast. Lunch.  Delicious. Duh. Done.

And someday, my self-control is going to kick in. But today…I need this guys.

My 24th year of life, the year of the cupcakes. That’s how I’ll look back. Sitting on my exercise ball pretending to be strengthening my core but mostly just bouncing up and down to my co-workers top 40 hits that I actually occasionally enjoy (coughcough JASONDERUUUULO) when I’ve had a little too much coffee and my mind isn’t anywhere but here, staring at a cupcake that inevitably, I will eat. My 24th year of my life, the year I could never just say no.

This is also the year I run more for the therapeutic aspect than the caloric. A cupcake is a cupcake and thoughts are thoughts but if I could write while I run, you’d all be reading cupcake related word vomit a lot more regularly.

I’m house sitting in Hollywood for 2 weeks and the scenery is a little different from what I’m used to.

It’s funny and strange to me that I’m “used to” running by the ocean. I think it’s a rare fortune when people get to call the beach, “home” and I’m not so blinded by my own good luck to forget how fortunate I am to mention that I am one of these people so casually . And besides that, I’m also not one to not explore a different environment than the one I am “used to” just because it’s comfortable, seemingly better or even just generally more preferred.  So I went running down Hollywood Boulevard the other day. To process. Mental cupcakes if you will. Things I couldn’t say no to. Situations that can’t be changed. Mistakes I knew I was making. Etc. etc. Insert emo comment here.

Anyway.

Hollywood Boulevard is, for the most part, Venice boardwalk without the ocean and without a flurry of stoner associates in green scrubs begging you to come in their collective pop-up marijuana shops with shout-outs like, “The doctor is in!” and ” Join the scene, get some green!”. The streets are just as gummy, the storefronts just as grimy, the panhandlers just as greasy, the tourists just as gluttonous. And sweaty. Which doesn’t start with a G. But forcing alliteration is sometimes besides the point. And the point here is that Hollywood and Venice are brothers. In the way the black people use it. There’s no place like home…. boy.  And Hollywood reminds me of it. And thus, my run was oddly familiar.

It’s funny …Not that I thought it was going to be any different. Hollywood, like any other good generalization, is mostly a facade.  Such glamour! Such wealth! The bright lights, big city. The Hollywood Walk of  “Fame“.  About those little stars on the sidewalk.  I’m pounding the pavement and reading each one. Elvis Presley. The Beatles. Marilyn Monroe. Michael Jackson. Lucille Ball. And I’m sure it was a defining moment in their career. A literal star-studded symbol of their success. But there are 2,501 stars on this stretch, and I can probably recognize 250 names, and I don’t know if that’s pathetic on my part, or just a testament to how unimportant and irrelevant most of us become after we leave this place. You made something of yourself, congrats. Here’s a star with your name on it for thousands of tourists to step on and dust and grime and dirt and a montage of other unmentionable substances to cover it. Someday people won’t even know who you are! Ain’t that the truth.

But yet, that doesn’t stop people year after year from moving here to pursue their own little spot on this pavement. It’s like we subconsciously ignore the very basis of humanity, that in all our temporary glory, we still continuously attempt to figure out how to somehow resonate forever.

And I didn’t mean for this to get so deep, so quickly. Really, I just went on a run. Really, it was about more than the cupcake.  But what starts as a run for me, very often leads me to a little peace of mind during my own little quest in my own little piece of the pavement. And today, which might have started with a cupcake, I can at least take solace in knowing ended with a little bit of clarity.

Which is something I also never say no to.

Cupcakes.

California.

Clarity.

Alliteration man.

K.

From my little piece of pavement to your peace of mind, that’s all for today.

M