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Laurel Canyon
By Rodger Jacobs
from Glendale,CA

8/4/2006
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They take Laurel Canyon across to the Valley, her squat black car gripping the road like a panther and she is in the driver’s seat, both hands on the wheel, eyes on the asphalt as if searching for meaning in the white lines that her headlights pick up but really, actually, she’s just concentrating on the serpentine twists and turns in the canyon night.

The radio is off. It was on during the entire drive to Beverly Hills, first a classical station and then a classic rock station that was playing a Led Zeppelin album. But now no music emanates from the dashboard sound system, just the sound of their own breathing and the night whooshing by outside and he wonders for a moment why the radio is off.

There’s a catch in her voice when she says, “I always loved it up here. Here and Topanga Canyon, too.”

“Topanga Canyon burns a lot,” he says. “It doesn’t burn that often in Laurel Canyon.”

He doesn’t know if the last thing he said is empirically true but it sounds true. He can’t recall the last time he heard about a major fire in Laurel Canyon.

The houses are tucked on the side of the canyon wall like somebody’s afterthought. Nice homes occupied by musicians, artists, writers, movie people.

He sighs.

“It would be nice to live up here,” he says. “We just need to work on selling more books.”


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