He took the 101 out to the Valley and then the 405 north to the 118 and west. He got off in Chatsworth and drove into the rocky bluffs at the top corner of the Valley.

Everybody seemed to be on a cell phone. The marble floor and high ceiling took all of the voices and multiplied them into a fierce cacophony of white noise.

Los Angeles was the kind of place where everybody was from somewhere else and nobody really droppped anchor. It was a transient place. People drawn by the dream, people running from the nightmare. Twelve million people and all of them ready to make a break for it if necessary. Figuratively, literally, metaphorically — any way you want to look at it — everbody in L.A. keeps a bag packed. Just in case.

Some people cashed in their dreams a dime on the dollar and some kept them close and as sacred as the night. I wasn’t sure if I even had a dream left. I felt like I only had sins to confess.

The civilized people in the world, the ones who hide behind culture and art and politics… and even the law, they’re the ones to watch out for. They’ve got that perfect disguise goin’ for them, you know? But they’re the most vicious. They’re the most dangerous people on earth.

Politicians could talk about building walls and changing laws to keep people out, but in the end they were just symbols. Neither would stop the tide any more than the rock jetties at the mouth of the port did. Nothing could stop the tide of hope and desire.

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