It wasn’t like the good old days. Back then you could drive up Beechwood Canyon to Ledgewood up to Deronda and from there it was a short winding walk along a dirt portion of Mulholland Highway that brought you around a bend and there you were at the base of Mt. Lee.
From there it was a bit of a clamber over gullies, through some brush and up makeshift trails until you were standing at the base of the Hollywood Sign and commanded a view that on a clear day stretched out over the Hollywood Reservoir and the city to the shore and all the way to several of the Channel Islands out there on the ocean.
You could slip on the headphones, pop a beer or fire up a bowl and just be king of the world for as little or as long as you wanted.
Not anymore. Sure, you could still roll it up Beechwood to Ledgewood to Deronda to that fire road, but once you got around there, the mountainside the sign sits atop might as well be a detention facility what with all the fencing and signs warning of trespassers being prosecuted and surveillance equipment being in operation and all the bullshit that comes with a post 9/11 world.
Cal could give a shit as he pitched the large cutters he’d hauled up with him and used to open a break in the chain link big enough for him to slip through. He wasted no time moving forward up the loose rock of the embankment before him because it had been 20 years that he’d been missing that view fand didn’t care if he got arrested f getting a refill.
“Attention! You are trespassing on private property! Do not proceed!” Cal picked up a baseball-sized rock and looked around at the loudspeaker and camera mounted atop the utlility pole next to the fence.
“Attention! Fuck you!” he yelled and heaved, the rock hitting the speaker dead on, knocking it askew. He’d been aiming for the camera.
“The authorities have been notified! Leave now or you will be arrested and jailed.”
Cal gave the camera the finger before turning his back on it and marching uphill. If they were coming to get me, he thought, I might as well make them have to work for it.