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Nothing like a good breakup to set your head spinning, wondering what goddamn freeway to careen your drunk ass off of next. What's the quickest interstate out of Misery, 90042? Hurriedly, you check the show listings on LAist. Q and not U? No, they remind you of your ex. Spending $12 to see 'em would make you too poor to afford late night tacos, bullets or a decent obituary.

First thing's first: You go onto craigslist. You know it's gonna be a drag going in, but checking out the pictures makes you so nauseous and depressed you almost consider calling that friend with the heroin and asking her to come give you a lethal injection to put you out of your misery. But you know there's something's going on tonight, somewhere; you just have to find it.

So you call everyone you know, get 'em all down to the Little Joy, where you hustle some pool with the locals and mark up the bathroom with oblique ballpoint phrases of lost love.

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Your friend suggests a spin down to Commerce Casino, but you know the last thing you need is to lose your insurance payment on top of your girlfriend and your general well-being. How did she sneak into your soul so cleverly? She was a tricky one. It's all a hazy mystery now: The smell of sour sex, the words gone gray. You ground your teeth 'till she gave up and forsook you. But the girls at the Little Joy wear belts four times the size of normal belts, and none of them looks as good as your girlfriend did when she dried her tears and walked out the door into that cold blue morning.

You pound a few more shots and head up the hill to the strains of the Black Heart Procession's "Amore del Tropico," only to reach the house at the top where you've nothing to do but talk. And you talk incoherently as if an abundance of answers were within your reach, if only you could sound out those magical phonemes.

Around four in the morning, she calls you. The pain stops. You get off the phone, seriously considering breaking up with her all over again just for putting you through it.

Los Angeles is a great town for hooking up; it's a terrible place for ending a relationship. Losing love in this city feels like the end of the world. What blind, incredible luck led you to the one you had? How will you ever find someone like her again? How much will gas cost when you drive the next one down to Palm Springs for the Romantic Weekend? Was it a wasted paycheck when you took her to wait in line at the Cheesecake Factory? And when will the strip-mall-memories-past be strip-mined past a point where nostalgia can support their melancholy weight?

You broke up; you hate relationships; you need a relationship. It's a lonely town. Don't worry. It'll only take one more massive effort. Exertion's the only thing that distinguishes life from death (that and orgasms, which are the goal of all exertion.) So love the ride; be there for everyone; need no one; be as aloof as a Catalina buffalo when needs be, but hold onto your humanity above all else. Precious little of that around here. There's no gold at the bottom of the rabbit hole, silly rabbit. It's the goddamned ride that counts.