chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Tag Archives: teenagers


crow on patio skylightThe crows are back, rousing me from my desk with their racket. Today they are on the roof over the patio.
One of them — there are at least three — discovers a good-size nail. He parades it across the length of the flat, splattered glass of the skylight then back again and sets it down. The nail has something soft and moist on it, which the crow eats, then picks up the nail again and raps it experimentally against the skylight. There is much cawing from his companions and they all flap off in different directions.

discovering the girl…

Fox and Bruin theaters, Westwood VillageIn the trapped-ness of my non-driving early teenage years at home, the place I could walk to — get away to — was Westwood Village. It was different then, lively and un-corporate, with a grocery store, two movie theaters (still there!), bookstores and stationery stores, clothing and shoe shops, restaurants and coffee shops, and a department store, Bullock’s. Westwood was the place I’d go to the orthodontist, meet my friends, buy illicit cigarettes and wander like a tourist, looking and touching but seldom buying.

My route there and home frequently detoured to take me along UCLA’s Fraternity Row. The way was slightly longer, but promised, in my mind at least, the possibility of being noticed, discovered, rescued, invited in. I needed someone to confirm my suspicion that I was female, a girl like other girls, not the confused and neuter thing I’d felt like through my early adolescence. I was invisible to the boys I knew; only Steve, the 20-something son of family friends, recognized my desperate flirtations and fueled my hopes with his harmless flattery.

But on Fraternity Row, nothing like that ever happened. No one spoke to me as I mooned along, trying to understand the right way to inhabit the body of this new person I had become. The boys were there, going about their new lives as young college men, but for me it was just another kind of window-shopping, the goods beautiful, desirable and inaccessible.
. . . . .
Photo of the Fox and Bruin movie theaters (ca. 1938) from a wonderful collection of early UCLA and Westwood photos by Water and Power Associates