I got up early enough to take the metro to work. The E to the K, then a shuttle bus from The K to The C, then The C to work.

One reason I keep trying to take the light rail to work, even though it takes twice as long, is because I want to believe that Los Angeles can be romantic. I want to be able to pretend that I can live a life like the one I used to have: trains and markets and cafes and romance. There is nothing romantic about driving my work truck down the 405.

But to imagine that the Los Angeles's light rail has the possibility of being a facilitator of an urbane life requires a willful suspension of disbelief. And incredible and serious commitment to willfully ignoring reality and instead living in a fantasy. Because the reality of taking the Metro is confronting filth, mental illness, and boredom. On each of the train platforms today, as always, there was garbage. And garbage on the sidewalks. Garbage everywhere.

Why are we Angeleno's like this? Why do we treat our city with so little respect?

For example, as I got back on The C Line, there was an obese shirtless man, with his trousers around his ankles, eating cereal from a bowl. As the train stopped at a station, he waddled over to pour the remnants of his cereal in the gap between the train and the platform. It is hard to pretend that that moment is something that happens in a functional civilization.

But I'm going to keep trying to pretend this is not a dystopia, despite all evidence.