Lately I’ve been going for a walk on Sunday afternoons – no big deal, just in the neighborhood, East Hollywood and sometimes drifting up into Griffith Park, more of a stroll than a psychogeographic expedition.
And since more and more places are open on Sundays, and since more and more people work on Sundays, you might think Sunday shouldn’t feel so very different from every other day of the week, and yet it does. I’m not completely sure whether it’s me or the universe, but there is something curious and melancholy about the world on a Sunday when you’re walking.
My best guess (for the time being) is that the people who are on the streets on a Sunday have more time on their hands, they move at a different pace than in the week, they have some sense of being “at leisure,” they’re drifting just like I am, and this creates some specific “ambiance.”
And naturally I found myself thinking about Thomas De Quincey’s line, “It was a Sunday afternoon, wet and cheerless: and a duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a rainy Sunday in London.” And yes I do think that a rainy afternoon in London is much worse than a sunny afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard, but the latter is not without its melancholy.
I can’t swear that the fellow below on the sidewalk (he's the same as the one up above) is an opium eater, but I’d guess he’s probably taken an opiate if not an opioid. He looks quite comfortable. And you know, having taken the picture I'm feeling guilty. Should I have checked his pulse? Should I have called an ambulance? Well yes, possibly I should, although if you called an ambulance every time you saw somebody passed out on the sidewalk in Hollywood you wouldn't have time for much else.
And I can’t tell you what, if anything, this fellow below has taken (maybe beard-enhancer) but it didn’t seem to have cheered him up much:
And as for this person, well I don’t know if anything had been taken at all, which is to say I don’t know if this is a man or a woman, transvestite or transsexual, or someone who’s just gender fluid – hey, in Hollywood in the park on a Sunday afternoon we don’t always check IDs.