"I woke up in California West Coast Big land of broken dreams that can boast of five pro- fessional baseball teams. Two came from New York, just like me."
I was humming this song on the subway when I saw a sad young woman, all besuited and blonde, balancing against the wall and tumbling slightly at the awkward stops and turns. She was writing and playing with her calculator, figuring her Metro budget, tallying her gas money spent per month, her totals came to $105.66 SAVED, that's right, somehow she had figured out how to save $105.66, a magic number, a lot of cash, but she wasn't happy, she was grim, beat-down and tired, and so I said " this subway is dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew/ danger is doubled and pleasures are few/ where the rain never falls and the sun never shines..."
She cut me off. So what! her eyes demanded of me. How could I fix it, even if I wanted to?
And I said "go to California baby! roll in the jacaranda blossoms, body surf the PCH! Play hackey sack with the Mexican kids and roll your own as the rollerbladers float by on a sunshiney dream! It's Beverly Hills, for Christ's sake! Swimming pools and movie stars. Sell maps of the star's homes while hawking that screenplay. Rent a burnt out bungalow with a brain dead special effects wiz! Drive! Go. You're toiling in the mines, while America's bread basket, a regular cornucopia, yawns lazy and inviting, over yonder," I said," they're out there having fun, in the warm California sun."
And she sang back: "California is a garden of Eden A paradise to live in or see But believe it or not You won't find it so hot If you don't have the do-re-mi.
If you don't have the do-re-mi, boys, you don't have the do-re-mi, You'd better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee."
And she handed me an expired UCLA ID badge and stepped off the train humming.