Chasing Cheyenne / by vanessa

In an effort to avoid further writing about LA traffic during this 30-day challenge, I finally attempted to use the Somebody app. If you haven't heard of Somebody, it's basically IRL social media developed by one of my favorite artists, Miranda July, in which you compose, deliver and receive messages to/from friends/total strangers. Seems safe. First I tried to compose a message to be delivered, but I don't have any friends on the app. Please join.

Mission accepted.

So then I went to the Floating section to find a message to deliver. I chose the first one at the top because they're sorted by proximity to your current location. It was a message from Pachy to his friend Cheyenne. He wanted to tell her that he still had Kressy's pants only now they had cat hair on them.

How were Kressy, Pachy and Cheyenne even living their lives for the last month while this information was just sitting out in the ether. I had 45 minutes to make things right. I grabbed Jonah and we headed down the street to deliver the message.

FYI, Jonah is not a very good Somebody companion. First, he insists on walking but his legs aren't very long so it takes him a while to get anywhere. Second, he's easily distracted. For instance, he will strike up conversation with the first piece of fallen palm tree in his path.

I scooped him up and we continued.


Nearing Cheyenne's location, I pulled up the app again to make sure I could identify her. Cheyenne's image peered back beneath pageboy bangs in a vaguely French, this-never-ends-well kind of way. We arrived at her pin and waited. Though we were surrounded by cars and pedestrians, Cheyenne wasn't there. I opened the app again. Her pin had moved about a mile to the west.

WTF, Cheyenne.

It occurred to me that I had left the house, toddler on hip, with only my phone. What if I needed to buy something? Or show my drivers license? For reasons I still don't understand, we pivoted left and walked toward the new location with 28 minutes on the clock. We got about 30 feet when Jonah needed to stop and hug a yellow fire hydrant. I took the opportunity to call Ryan who had stayed home nursing a migraine. I will tell you at least two things I love about Ryan: One, he can always be counted on to answer the phone. Two, he is unfailing in his support of creative endeavors. Despite his blinding headache, he arrived in minutes and drove us to the new pin.


On the corner of Sanborn and Sunset in Silverlake, there is a huge sign marking the location as Sunset Junction. Except the real Sunset Junction is a messy confluence of seven different crosswalks amongst Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards and Virgil Avenue. It is marked by a Vons, an AutoZone, the historic Vista Theatre and a Crossroads Trading Company, where they will mockingly pay you 55 cents to take those nylon Prada sandals off your hands. It is where Los Feliz meets Silverlake. This is where Cheyenne chose to perch. She could be anywhere.

We parked at the Auto Zone. I got out alone and looked across the corners. Finally, with 11 minutes remaining, I spotted Cheyenne sitting across the street on a ledge near a busstop, typing on her phone. She looked up. I smiled excitedly. We were separated by two intersections. She looked down. I pushed the walk signal and waited to cross the streets. If you know this particular spot in Los Angeles, you know that it is an excruciating wait between lights. I rehearsed the message in my head. Pachy said that he still has Kressy's pants but they're covered in cat hair.

Cheyenne from afar.

And then, while I sat waiting at the busy intersection for the signal to cross, a bus approached the other side. I looked up at the light. Still green. I looked at her. I watched as Cheyenne got up and walked towards the bus, disappearing behind it.

I'm not sure why I still crossed the street. I knew she was gone. As I made my way over anyway and then back to Ryan and Jonah waiting patiently for me at AutoZone, I could see the pin moving its way back down Sunset with two minutes left.