The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago
Although most airports seem to have been designed by committees made up of subcommittees, and are inevitably unattractive and unsightly, Los Angeles International has an exuberant ugliness all its own. The atmosphere of non-invitation is quite distinctive, as if the city's first representative, its airport, is already disgusted, perhaps even repelled, by the traveler. The recent arrival might well imagine that he has landed on the set of a low-budget futuristic film, most of whose main characters will die horribly within the first forty minutes. The pods, as they are called, are careless maintained, and an odor of perfumed urine wafts here and there through the bleary air.
...For such a famous place, known for its hospitality to louche celebrities of every stripe, the Fatal seemed rather drab, even seedy. It advertised its own cool indifference to everything by means of dim Art Deco lamps and shabby antique rugs. Indifference constituted its most prized form of discretion. To the left of the entryway sat an ice plant. A dusty standing pot with a sunlit cactus in it, close to the elevators, matched the ice plant for pur floral forlornness. They were emblems of four-star neglect. In front of me, and to the right of the front desk, was a brown Art Deco sofa that looked as if it could have used a thorough cleaning. Scandalized, I saw stains.