Baking It On The 5

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I live downtown in the Arts District and work in Orange County so every morning I get on the 5 South at Santa Fe Avenue. 

At the light by the on-ramp at Porter, I allemande right with the eighteen-wheelers and the unattached bug-head cabs rambling in from every direction, heading for the semi-circular bridge to the freeway, and I give them the right of way even if it’s not their turn. First, because I'm in a user-friendly Toyota and they’re riding herd on a mother of a steering wheel that will chew back if given half a chance. But also because all those drivers and I, we’re all going into battle. It’s morning and we’re all shake, rattle and rolling into the unknown day. 

All of us on the 5 may be falling for the wrong person, thinking and worrying and wondering if we're ever going to get where we're really trying to go, but from the waves and smiles I get from the drivers turning in front of me onto the 5, it's clear that we share more than a shard of joy that this is the life we're living. Because even in winter, we're all under the world's most spacious sun, whose promise, considering the state of the rest of the world, is still pretty much trading on the gold standard. 

So whether Zac Brown, Richard Wagner, Leslie Odom Jr., or Willie Nelson is blasting us forward, each of us happily observes the etiquette of staying alive because, like Willie Nelson sings, “In the promised land, our dreams are made of steel.”

Bake on, L.A.!