The temperature is high, the humidity is low and the wind spends its time counting leaves with a rustle and a whisper and a sigh. the cool, quick hands billow up into the fat fingered elms and wide leaved oaks leaving my hair unmussed and my brow untouched by the refreshing breeze. I am lazy with this heat. stiff magnolia leaves rattle and clatter like shells in a clam bucket. I walk past slowly hoping the wind will leave off the counting game for a moment and dash across the street to ease me of this heat for a moment. I wait on the corner in the shadow of a building I have never entered. the wind teases with a brief swat but is indifferent as I have not so much to count so back to the abacus of fine viened green fingers. last Thursday the design firm had a feild trip to bullseye glass, makers of over 500 sheets of glass a day. the wherehouse is lined with rows of wooded shelves like narrow slatted crates and slid inside are 20 to 30 sheets of glass sorted by color and tone. like a giant wafer rainbow portioned and stored and numbered waiting for some event to become assembled and blazoned across the sky. every rectangle is 22 x 35 to fit snug in its slot with the others of its shade. each edge is rippled and imperfect like the wind comed sand dunes from where they were born. they are uniform and unique they wait and are waited for. through a door to the side near the employee break room there is an ingredient room where dozens of short black metal barrels are filled with sand and bromium chloride or some such filler and the various colorants such as arsnic and magnisium and iron sulfate. all the 80 or so powders are in foot high jars that line the 4 shelves of an oversized black spice rack. it has a surreal giant cook feeling. there are sets of belt and wheel systems set up to roll the drums on their sides for hours to mix the ingrediants which rumble along as perpetual white noise in a low steel rolling kind off way. at one end is the out side of the 40 foot tempering furnace. it is squat and oxide red and black like an enormous king snake, with 3 foot segments joined by thick flat seams brocaded with fat round riveits. it is all ver industiral age photographic. following the iron serpent leads to the furnace chamber where 12 furnaces are blowing ultra thousand degree heat from there fat shouting mouths set low in their ash pale, domed, blind heads. they gape a raw orange of unfused molocules and unstrung electrons that leaves the eye unable to see where the interior furnace walls separate from the molten glass burbling inside. daring men in overalls or dungerees, some with dreadlocks and some bald some in tyedyed shirts some unshirted and all gloved with thick black fingers were dipping long handled ladles deep into the glowing maws and scooping out pools of fire that dripped thin red lines on the cement floor. the lines would squiggle and cool as they hurried from one to the other and then to the press. the lines went from red to black to pale green as the grains of sand and granules of chlorine fused to become a trail of unused glass on the floor. Originally the glassworks started in one small house in a neighboorhood of italian immigrants and then grew to two houses then three and so on until the entire works was a series of 11 houses with plywood and tarpaper corridors barging through walls where kitchen windows once had peeked out onto flower gardens. the factory had grown by leaps and bounds for a project started by three hippies just trying to make some quick cash and then move on. so just three years ago they hired an architect to design a large concrete brick building that would enclose all the houses so they could continue to work as the building was built. after the factories new walls went up the old wall had to come down so a crew of 20 mexican demolition workers swarmed all over the houses one by one and removed them during the glass making process. this factory runs 24/7 every 365 so there was no time to halt production just to accomodate the construction of a new factory. all the pieces of the houses went out the unfinished windows for over three weeks until they arrived at the last house and then the CEO said to leave it be. as we all know there is a sentimentality attached to the past and it is hard to let go of it completly so when you walk to the last set of furnaces there is a square shell of a house that stands its latheboard ghosts behind them and raises its its carpentered roofbeams to hold in a few memories of humble beginings and faded communities. from there we went to the back loading bay where a lovley veiw of the Fred Meyers World Corporate Headquarters is only slightly obscured by the oversized tylenol capsule of a propane (or was it butane) gas tank. this tank exists to lower their natural gas bill. working on the same principle of people with lots of money do not need money therefore it is best to lend money to them, people who do not need natural gas are obviously your best customers and should be given a discount. So for most days they use natural gas and on the two or three days in winter when demand is high they are cut off from the system and have to rely on propane (or was it butante). for this flexibility on their part bullseye is cut a deal that reduces their gas bill to a tiny 35,000 a year. at this point the tour gide asked us to imagine the point of veiw of a fred meyer executive on the day 10 years ago when they saw this huge gas tank being installed nexto a half-dozen saltbox houses that housed lots of high temperature furnaces and gas lines. Your beautiful corner office on the top glass band that wraps around the white plaster facade now invites you to veiw a potential bomb that would send a firestorm right through your mohogany lined walls. Nervous neighbors are not always potential allies but the people at fred meyers never rallied against the gas tank so they were never enemies either. it was just a tense indifference. in the last three years they have certainly slept better at night knowing those broad cement shoulders guard against disaster. then past several aluminium ladders and the backsides of walls which use their exposed timbers as half done shelves to the rendering room. In this room all the end bits and broken pieces, not so perfect plates of glass and even good sheets of glass are ground down to form the hot new items in there treasure trove of glass supplies; granuals of various sizes from quarter inch chunks all the way down to fine powder for use in creating new patterns in kiln form glass. there are stacks and stacks of large clear jars filled with crystals of color like candies from some old-time store. and how do they use this bits o glass? well back through an afterthought door way that opens at the end of the tempering furnace where we see them grade and cut the panes of glass we walk on to the art kiln room where several clay artists are working with glass to see what similarties in the mediums can be used to create a new design in the glass art world. ther are doxens of glass tiles and multi layer blocks that are made from several plates each with its own details that acheive an amazing 3 dimensional depth when pressed and melted together. there are also several large plates to be used as door inserts which have had their patterns laid in with powdered glass that is combed and brushed to created a gradual fading effect from the strong lines of color. there are little cast pieces of pink and aqua glass in the shape of cones and half domes but they remain mysterious. it is often that way in the presence of half done artwork laid about like forgotten glasses of water half drunk so there is the implied existance but the entity remains unseen. that was the end of the tour and i had a good time. Please forgive the erratic telling of this tale as it has been sitting in my mind for over a week and has been paid no attention during that time. so like a child who has finaly been noticed it spews out everything in the order of urgency to make an impression, preferably good and the order of urgency does not follow a time line train of thought as much as a word association bumper car. I admit there has been a tweaking here or there but I do not type very fast so my life is a first draft kind of deal. things otherwise have been slow and that is good because is is easier to keep up with my life if i can just walk along side as opposed to ruuning just to see where it is going. there is a moving arriving in theaters soon called "fast, cheap and out of control". it is by the same director as thin blue line. it looks very entertaining. it is a documentery style interveiw with a circus animal trainer, a topiary artist, a reasearcher of naked mole rats and a maker of robots. just from the preview i reccomend it. the big read up here is "angela's ashes", a novel about growing up poor in ireland and it is one more sad life beautifully told that is growing by word of mouth more than reveiws. and for any of you wondering if "she's come undone" is worth the read, yes it is similar to margret atwood without being very futuristic more like "cat's eye" in the telling of a life. well be good and sleep tight. those of you i know i miss and those of you i do not know i hope that you are well. i love you because you are there for me in your silent watching ways on the other side of this sillicon and vacuum sealed static electric world.
The rain has returned to this tall leafy land of bridges and bicycles. its 30 odd day vacation has ended and the watery wonder of the northwest returned to reclaim its place and its people with a rapid warm day long deluge that cleared the gutters of leaves and pockets of twenties for umbrellas unfound or forgotten. the sky was dark like the half lidded eyes of some seattle junkie stareing down and trying to comprehend the empty streets as they cross and turn like strange heiroglyphics to reveal the mysteries of the cosmos for someone above the clouds on the astral plain. I am more on the asphalt plain just trucking along the slim slow roads that are between the major thruoghfares. Summer is indifferent to the drifting minutes that sift through its loose grip and seems unaware that all too soon it will have lost the reins of this slow stepping carriage gilded in sunlight and cushioned in long velvet grass. Autumns quick handed grip and lightning crack whip will soon snatch the reins and fury this carriage into a full flying gallop that rips off the flakes of golden paint and blows out the dry grass pillows. the windows shutter up with the grey drawn curtains and the wheels churn up red and brown mud that splackle the dimming hull. Autumn is in a snap and crack furor to race the horses past winter but in haste to make spring tatters down summer to the bones of itself and the wippets and flutters catch winters cold eye. you do not catch cold, cold catches you and winter stops the carriage dead. the horses are wild eyed and frothing like snow and the carriage is battered and its axels are bent. Winter lays a stilling hand on the beaten and damaged and slowly, carefully pulls out the splinters and straightens the axles. Winter smooths over the gouges and cleans off the mud. winter takes its time. eager spring leaps to the reins often before winter is finished and yanks away the carriage to trot down uneaven rock thrust roads with winter howling away behind it. Spring is young and reckless gamboling along down any old road brushing against berries and flowers that smear their bright juices across the door frame and around the windows. the cushions are short, pale bouncy grasses and little pink and white blossoms peek through for the sun. the carriage bumbles and shakes off the wet winter frost splashing great silver puddles into the road and dew on the leaves. but springs exhuberance tires quickly and it seeks out another driver in Summer. Summer is warm and lazy, driving the carriage whith half lidded eyes and a sloping hat. The horses wander and stop and chew on the tall yellow grass by the side of the road and then wander some more. Summer does not hold the reins but barely touches them in its upturned fingers that rest on its lap. The sun bakes the carriage to a golden hue and the short grasses grow long and lay down to nap into cushions of velvety amber grass. and that brings us back to now in this late august time. Autumn is a bandit waiting just ahead and this mellow ride is almost over. what have you done during your carriage ride this year, during your ramble and bumble about? last night was the company summer cocktail party and everyone wore hawaiian shirts and chatted into their charddonay. Most of the people i had never met but had spoken to on the phone. several were suprised that i was so slim. the voice sounds more as though i should look like barry white. only two people were suprised that i was white. They were from LA. it was all innoccuous party chatter so nothing was learned or told. Someone did mention that i shoud buy a house before the realestate market went to far out of control. And while i could make the mortgage payments each month for they are the same as rent, where are the 10 gs that go to the down payment? they are not flying out of my ass today. Luckly niether is anything else. well the future will become something and when it is done it will be the past. I have to go and wander around at the Fred Meyers for the procurement of groceries. i will think of something to say next week, and then maybe you will know something new about portland.
the sky is pale and wide like a drained pool with some darker patches where the moisture collects and waits away from the sun. A pool that has drained all over portland leaving the sidewalks wet and the air damp. Sometimes i wonder if i will mildew or mold being left out like a cheese in this cellar of a city. the wind rifles its curious fingers along the silvered and shivering undersides of leaves and the leaves flutter like doves wings in the dim green boughs and bowers of tall and heavy trees. The timid and lithe saplings clutch the air with tremble turned fingers to hold onto the fadeing and fainting leaves that shudder and tear away to soar on the tempting wispers of the wind. they have given up on summer for summer has given up on them. the rain plops fat and glinting upon them like tears for them to shed when they cry out "Oh lazy golden sun, why have you forsaken us?" and in receving no reply they swoon and drop to the crumpled grass below. summer is lazy and gives up too soon so autumn always seems to sneak in a few days early. today it is not so circumspect, the rain is bold and pushes its way through the wind churning up mud and bowing the heads of the last short faced flowers of summer. the tree bark outside my window is slick and dark like blood. the autumn comes and in that my eyes seem heavier. but the news says summer may make one last stand this weekend and pour out all that it has left for a 80 degree clear and blue three day extravaganza. and what little hope there may be in that it is faint for the dark days have decended. winter walks not far behind like a coal scuttle waiting to drop on your head and the twinkling lights and red and green of christmas are the clanging shock of a headache that dances the stars before your eyes as all head trauma does. i have not been writing for a while and the happy bits of me have rusted up even more in the long streatched days of being ignored while the sepia oil of my grim disposition has oozed around the gears and drips out first upon the paper. atleast there is a paper and it is dripping. the untapped well dribbles at first and this is a sign of things to come. the computer i am working from has been upgraded as i have mentioned before and while it was sent away to convelece in the company of the sisters of cybernetic mercy there prayers fell on the wrong ears if any at all an the upgrade is still the bane of my days. this means that this will be composed over several days if at all considering the disposition of the machine.
Autumn tickles up the underskirts of sycamores whose modest leaves pale like butter and faint down to the lawn. When autumns taunting fingers rumble on the elms their leaves blush over like apples and swoon to the sidewalks. Other trees stay green and ignore the advances of this early autumn chill. They have felt it all before and do not react. They are playing hard to get. But in the end autumn undresses them all exposing their long brown limbs to the night's cold caress. The tree in front of the office stands divided on its attentions. One column of branches are shivering and saffron, the other column remains indifferent and emerald for now it is a tree of two minds but soon winter will lay its somnambulistic claw against its trunk and the tree will bare itself to hibernation. I can see few trees and the curves of an overpass from the glass tower that fronts this building. Some times there are crows or seagulls wheeling in the sky. the river rushes along the embankment not to far away. i cannot see the ships from here but ships are better to be on than to watch. work is slow today, not many people have called so i have been filing and sorting all the paper that has piled up in the bookeepers office. the bookkeeper is leaving wednesday which happens to be the day i am going to LA for a week so this leaves the secretary alone in the office for 4 days. i am not changing my plans as the bookkeeper knew that i was going long before she chose to find another job. I have not been doing much but maintaing what life i have here and that is mostly keeping the apartment tidy and writing other things for other books. I did see two movies this weekend. "I know what you did last summer" was turgid. they could not kill people off fast enough and the killer was terribly obvious to me but i could see where some people would be suprised so i will not reveal the identity incase you do want to see it. I did not find it scary as much as jolting. to me a scary movie strikes close enough to reality and your life so that a few weeks later you are still nervous and edgy about you neighbors and or desk clerks. this movie just raises your tension level with sharp music and grateing undercurrents then shoves something at the camera with a loud sound so you jump whether you are scared or not. I did see "Soul Food" and it was good. a light sketch of a family who has troubles and then reconciles them over the period of a few months. vanessa williams is great and the other actors are excellent but i do not have their names on my fingertips as they are not beaten into my head my the media around me and i am not near the industry any more so knowing those details is irrelevant to my life. I liked "Soul Food" but all movies are mattinee movies as far as i am concerned. i think it is very important to see a film in the theater because of the medium but with video becoming such a huge part of the market it seems silly to pay too much for a film. especially if the star is making over 3 million just to be in the movie. if you can not invest wisely and spend overextravagently i do not want to support you. i have always thought it would be more reasonable to pay the standard salary and then add points of the gross to the main stars if they are supposed to be a draw once the film excceds its budget in revenue so that if the film is wildly successfull the stars do benifit and if the film bombs they do not walk away with mountains of cash for a crappy job. but no one listened to me when i first proposed the idea so i just let it go. i let go of lots of things when i realize that clinging to the concept is not improving my life. like the fact that shanon is straight. it is a very odd relationship and one of the reasons it seems that i am so silent is because i do not talk about it and it is part of my life. sometimes i do not know why i am still with him as it seems like we are just roommates who sleep in the same bed but do nothing. and sometimes he is what little affectionate he knows how to be. He sent me flowers at work one day just because he felt like it and it was a source of much gossip in the office for i would not tell them who sent them. they arrived unsigned so i maintained the mystery. why not. he was very good about helping clean the living room this weekend and he does the laundry sometimes. unfortunatly i am much to fond of him and he is only marginally fond of me. we have been together since february so we get along. but he mentioned once in april that he does not find me physically attractive and yet sometimes when we awake he will look at me and say, "you are cute". does he mean this or is this his way of keeping harmony between us. i do not know. what i do know is that i am in a relationship with someone i find attractive and he still fantasizes about women and looks up nasty pictures of them on the internet. he endures me well and for this i am glad. it must be more difficult for him sometimes as he is more introverted as well and i am gregarious. the best thing is that his friends have never said one thing about the strangness of this. they have accepeted us and we all go out to movies and dinner once in awhile. i know that someday this will end because A) i need to be in a relationship where i feel a bit more attractive (because i am damnit) and he needs to be in a relationship with a woman someday. it just will be later. so until then it is bearable and easy for both of us. there is affection between us, please do not misunderstand that. it is just odd. but sometimes i am happy. and that is good.
the bus that takes me to the areoport chugs its double sectioned self over the burnside bridge and i see the early traffic strung up on the far over pass like pale lanters over a tea garden wall. the river reflects the last fingers of the sun on its broad grey back and they sparkle like red-orange freckles. the bus travels up along sandy blvd. which runs at an angle to most streets creating little wedges of blocks with support ship prowed builidings that stick their sharp faces towards the intersections. they are old and gird themselves with short windows and thick carved stone bands. there is an old 7 -up bottling plant from 1920-something all white and bowed with deco influence. its walls run around the corners so fast they do not sharpen but bend and create continuous curves of bone colored plaster. the bus runs farther and farther down the road. i pass the hollywood district of portland. it amuses me. there is an enormous gold's gym across the way. it used to be a supermarket. now it is a steriod market. no more dry goods. just one big meat section. we zoom onwards past some interesting thrift stores and appliance shops. onwards to the motel belt which is the gateway to the areoport. the cameo motel advertises TV Phones. Well the TV side of the sign is red with blue lettering and the phone is blue with red lettering. still, there is the glimpse of the future for those who chose to see it. the cameo resturant is stranded on a tiny triangle of land bordered by streets running to and from the motel and road that runs to the side of it. there is a little patio where all the plants are so it seems a little desolate with all the sidewalk and brick and paint. but i cannot stop to dine there for onward and forth the bus does go. the odd thing about an accordained bus is when it turns the corner the bus driver dissapears from your direct line of vision over the bus seats and reappears outside of the window and you see him through his outside window. the bus alines itself again but every so often it seems like the bus has left you and you are just on a remnant of some vehicle rolling down the road. only a moment but it is a pause in the thoughts of watching the outside roll by. the areoport is far and deep beyond wide green lands that wait for the industrial parks of the future. now they are lush and pleasing so i enjoy that moment for now. the parking structure is being built with tall cement columns rising like old temple supports being excavated by some absent archiologists who have left lanterns hanging and yards of orange saftey fencing surrounding the turned up earth revealing just the edge of a jutting rod of rebar or a low cement rectangle holding some ancient secret. i hurry along to the terminal just like the rest who take no notice of the work that they walk through and around. the teminal i seek is lined in 20 foot images of the pacific north west with apropriate sounds of water falling and birds calling and waves crashing to emulate the image. the plane is on time and like all planes i have been on. just a few seats accross and with small oval windows. i am indifferent to planes as the are just like busses to me. they just smell dry and flat unlike busses which often smell like the unbathed passengers or the outside car exhaust. on the planes i have traveled on it seems people have bathed. that is good. i am gobbling down the latest Tony Hillerman novel. the fallen man. it is brief and not as gripping as the novels i have read of his before. maybe it is i who has become indefferent to his charaters but to me it seems that he to has lost some affection for who he is writing about and is just writing a novel to appease the masses if not his mortgage broker and publisher. it makes me sleepy. the plane lands and i am only half way through. i do not care. it is good to get off the plane. into the bowels of LAX to retrive my lone suitcase from the baggage-go-round. I walk past the long tiled wall which has been there to comfort me since the 70's in its blocky geometric lines of blues and goldenrod and beige. the moving walkway has been removed and i am a bit sad. it is like a little ride to welcome you to the surreal amusment park environment of this city. now there is only the maniacal knotway of roads and ramps that lead you out of the areoport and into the freeways of LA. there are lots of billboards for the new Alien Ressurection movie and the new camel ads. they are very intersting from afar as the encircling lines create the illusion of depth around the camel image. very funky. does it make me want to smoke? no. but it is a new wave in advertising. The big rambling refineries clunk and bramble like rocks and branches piled up at an eddy in a river. there are thousands of lights like christmas bejeweling the structures like a saving grace to keep the industrial ugliness at bay. does it work? for me, to a point. i find the look of it enchanting each time i see it. would i want the world to look like that. no. it is its uniqueness that is the catcher of my eye. i end up in long beach. the coastal city of my birth. it is late and i am staying with my folks for the night. the evening is clear and warm and my family is encrypted and distant as always. discussions are brief as we are all tired and my salvation will come with the rising sun. early in the morning lisa lea and Alise squeal to a halt in thier honda discord and bound up to pound on the door. it is time to rock in westwood and culver city and then off to santa monica for dinner and coctails. westwood is packed full of old movie theaters and botiques catering to those who seek the imagae of beeing a cutting edge californian. we look, we laugh, we run past palmtrees in the sun and steal silver lipstick from a trendy salon to stripe our faces in the door mirrors of a nearby off road vehicle which has never seen an unpaved road. we are wild in the hot sun wearing black jeans and tops. mine is a thermal type top with a wide neck lisa lea is wearing something short sleeved and shiny and alise has slinky sweater with buttons down the back. Gattica is playing at one of the 1930's theaters down the street. the lobby is huge and marbled with stairways to the balcony so we scamper up to sit in the plush red seats that jutt out over the audiance below us. lisa lea giggles and tosses popcorn to the guy below who is flirting with her by catching it in his mouth. the previews start. there is a bio of oscar wilde coming sometime in the future. that looks very good. starship troopers and alien ressurection are there ofcourse. Gattica starts with skin flakes and eyelashes falling. from this slow begining unwinds a slow movie. a good movie but the commercials are cut to make the film seem more fast paced. a bad job on the marketing end but i am certain it put most of the butts in these seats. i enjoyed gattica but do not expect a tense nailbitting movie about a race to identify someone. when we left lisa lea and we looked for the mystery popcorn man to jaunt out into the sunshine but he must have left through a different exit. so we went to a little mexican place and had nachos and enchiladas. they had good salsa and dirty windows. we left big smears of silver on the napkins and made up nasty stories about the people who stared at us. then we went to culver city to see lisa lea's new job site. she is working for some agent in a tall glass tower with an atrium inside. very stark interiors. so futuristic, so easy to clean, so expensive and expansive. Bright, large lithographs of blocks of color and stainless steel cylinders potting odd shaped cactuses that cap their stems with red and yellow flowers. she has her own office so we called santa monica for dinner reservations at some place she knew. I am just along for the ride so i pay no attenion to names. we chat and they smoke and the sun sets over the eucalyptus and palm trees darkening the russet of her office. catching the pale veils of smoke that linger over alise's short dark hair and blueing them as they curl into shadow. around 6 we motor out to santa monica to have cockails in a ocean front hotel bar that is up on the top floor looking out over the bay. the bar back is mirrored and the lamps are amber so we seem doubled and sallow as we stare at ourselves drinking gin and tonics talking to our refections. Alise charms the bartender as she used to be a model for nordstroms cataloge and other fine magazines so the drinks get stronger and cheaper and the laughter becomes throaty. as the mostly sober one and the one who is not being flirted with i notice that we are late for dinner so i nudge lisa lea and alise to make their fawning farewells and we jumble to the elevator. the resturant is across the way and seems tuscan. it has chairs and tables and waiters and candles like all restaurants but they are charming and tasteful and we are not. still smeared with silver and silly with alcohol we are stared at but safe because goddammit we are so glamourous. well the women are anyway with their dark hair and dark clothes. i have flax bleached hair with short dark roots and my big steel watch rattling on my wrist when i call over the smirking waiter. he knows what the other diners think of us and suspects what we think of them. he is the perfect co-conspeirator and finds the ladies disarming (ofcourse) we order as we wish and not really from the menu. we use it only as a guide for what is available in the kitchen and then concoct our own recipies in a drunken fit of giddyness. gladly it is a slower evening and the chef and the waiter get along so there are allowences made and later while we are eating the chef comes out all thick and silver haired to ask how we like our concoctions. we slur out how delighted we are for there have been several bottles of wine to compliment dinner and some to compliment alise and lisa lea. after a complex desert of fruit on fire and fantasy shaped chocolates the bill is missplaced by the winking waiter and alise chuckles as she hands him her card. lisa lea hands him one too and when he looks to me i have no card to give, but the expliation that i am from out of town seems to cover that up. we stumble out and wander over to the lammle's theater for a late movie there is an 11:00 showing of an old jackie chan film whith subtitles and chinese locals. we are drunk, we laugh too much, alise falls asleep. Lisa lea drives us to her apartment in sliver lake. it is a mission style late 20s courtyard kind of place. it is old and cracked and painted over more than repaired. the hibiscus bushes are over grown and the spike leaves of the bird of paridise plants poke out into the walkway. we sleep on the orange pile carpet and are awakened by the sun beaming through the bubbled glass in the thick wood framed windows. we all take turns showering in the small yellow bathroom filled to the eyebrows with small glass bottles and candle votives. it is time to see other people so alise and i drive the morning freeway against traffic back to the coast and the shores of long beach where leah and mat are waiting to see me. we meet up at the aromatherapy shop leah works at to plan the day. it is a narrow space with simple shelves and tall tables that are gnawed on by the white rabbit that guards the store. the destination of concensus is laguna so we motor off to the clear short coves that pocket laguna nigel. the hills are ochre and barren from the fires a few years ago but there are lots of new houses being built. Most of them are similar in the plaster and tile roof mission style that protects against fire but does not ward against monotony. the bogenvilla throw out their thick green arms over walls and across rooftops as the wind ruffles their crimson and orange blossoms that crest and fall like the ocean waves below. we have coffee on a small tiled patio under a bower of bogenvilla and wait for the steam to warm our skin and the fog to waft away. we avoid the breif streches of flat shore that have paved parking lots and park in a residential cul-de-sac by a squat modish bungalow from the 70's with big square windows and jutting lines. the coral trees are at the end of the blooming days and drip red blossoms onto the trim green lawn. the walkway down to the cove is steep and railed with thick iron pipe to steady the intrepid such as ourselves. the sky was clear and warm and the ocean curled into the shore. the few houses crowning the short cliffs had private stairways to the shore but no one was home and the water was cool but not chilly. the water called to us and we folded our garments into little squares that were held down from the wind with our shoes so we could swim in the low capped waves. mat is maori and leah grew up on the shores of virginia so we all have a craving for the connection of salt water and kelp from the currents that swirl around the world. to touch the ocean is to touch eterinty. we swam and floated for hours. there were sea lions on the far rocks but none came near. they to were being lazy and allowing life just to be as it is. it was warm, we were calm on the water, all was well with the world. dinner was later down the road on the way home as we were passing through seal beach, some place with a nautical theme that serves drinks in wide round bowls and platters of fried seafood and both kinds of clam chowder. we ate so much we had to order more drinks because we were to full to move. I stayed the evening discussing aromatherapy and shipping and movies with them. i slept in the guest room on the second floor of their townhouse behind the Iglesia de Jesus Christ whose big yellow walls climb up the bell tower outside the window. the bed was comfortable the room was sterile as all rooms with no one in them tend to be. a bit to clean, a bit to sparse. we had breakfast at a cafe with a big patio crammed with glass tables and white wicker chairs. the waiters are so cool that they look like elvis but not intentionally. all the food was named after dead movie stars and the menus were full color cartoons of the stars they named. the food ofcourse was familiar and when it arrived it looked like omlettes and hashbrowns you had eaten before. later that afternoon my sister and i saw lilies at an old art theater intown and it was terrific. brought to you by the film board of canada. always a high reccomendation. a bit surreal but lovely to look and and very well acted. all male performers but you hardly notice when they are in womens roles. a big must see. ofcourse there was more, there is always more but this letter is quite long as it is and i am getting tired. i do hope you are well and i apologize for not writing sooner but when you come back from somewhere it takes a few days to get your life back together. well it does for me. it has been raining here and the trees loose their leaves like tired strippers on the last set of the evening when everyone is drunk and does not care and the bartender is locking up the liquor. i went to a halloween party as jaun valdez and won a prize for worst resembalance. i am tall and thin and pale with bleach blonde hair and no mustache. perhaps i should have gone as uma thurman. well i am not that thin. i will write again.
winters fingers smack the faces of cold stone buildings and rattle their windows like so many loose teeth. i am pushed up against the rough black blocks of a church near my apartment by a rampant gust of thick cold wind. it is the begining of 1998 and i have been to the market for milk, eggs and bread. simple standard foods only one of which is white. white bean and pork soup has been simmering since yesterday and should be ready tonight. the wicked teeth of winter gnaw on my ears and i hurry through the red light to get to my warm refuge. the ham bone and bits of meat were leftovers from the post-christmas gift buffet from one of the drapery fabricators that the design firm works with. no one wanted to make soup so i did. soup is not that difficult. it is mostly patience and restraint. it takes a while for the flavor to come into the broth so it is always tempting to throw in strong spices early on to flavor up the soup. the apartment is warm and condensation beads a wet veil across all the windows. tiny streams begin to form on the window sills. the glass is very old and not insulated or well glazed so there is a constant problem not only with cold coming in but with moisture collecting in the least convenient places not because of leaks but from thermal reactions. the veiw is somewhat enchanting when the lights of the church are lit and the cars zoom past glareing with there pale headlights. the refractions twinkle and turn on each droplet and gint for a moment before giving way to the dark. shapes are vauge and suspected to be similar to what we have seen before when the windows were clear but who knows what changes occur when your vision is occluded and the night draws down from the sky. maybe what you think are cars could be giant blue and silver beatles with bioluminecent eyes that cast a great radiation afore them as they scuttle along on rapid legs that whirr and rummble like car engines. perhaps the metamorphosis is not some solitary torment aflicting some annoying russian existentialist and his not so understanding family but a daily occurace at the edge of night when the windows are darkend with rain or mists that arise from heaters battleing against the creeping fingers of winter. perhaps buildings soften and mold themselves to simpler shape that become the hives for these enormous insects that live such short and hurried lives, as insects tend to do. perhaps that sssslllloooooooosshhhh outside is not tires rolling on rain slick asphalt but the murmured hum of wings vibrating inside there chitinous shells with the thrill of being alive, about, alfresco. but what if we go outside to veiw this phenomonon for ourselves. when i step out the door there are just cars sliding by my eyes on there way from here to there and the buildings are clear and precise. maybe there is no strange trasformation, maybe my eyes can only see what they will accept. my ears on the other hand hear the same noises from upstair they hear atleast 3 times a week. the people above us seem to move all there furniture every other day. these are loud scraping and thunking sounds that travel all across the apartment. these are not dinner chairs pulled out for a meal because they happen at any time day or night. once they happened at 1:30 am. my theory is that they are some migrating hippie drug cartel from eugene that have set up base camp above my apartment. none of them are over 25 and none of them have cut or washed their hair in many moons. i see them coming down the stairs or leaving and i know they are the ones from upstairs because seconds after i see them enter the building the clumping of footsteps begins on the ceiling. it would seem that none of them have knees since every step is solid and firm. i have seen their shoes. red bubble gum sneakers that they do not seem able to sneak in. perhaps thier magic silence only works for evading the law but turns loud in the privacy of their own opium den. mostly i think they are pot dealers. they have that "now that jerry is dead i do not know what to do with my life" look of ragged tye-dyed shirts and baggy courduroy slacks. i suspect all the furniture moving is there way of accesing their stash from its many hidden locations in there domicile of deadheads. mostly they are quiet and do not give any one greif but that is the way of the addled. what trouble could they cause when they are so unaware and yet in touch with the universe. I lived in eugene for a few years and it made me much less tolerant of pot heads than i had been before. it is a big hemp town but they are so relentlesly filthy and stuck in the 60's that the few normal people who indulge are seldom seen and maligned by association. in LA reffer feinds are atleast current and bathe semi-regularly if they are seen in public. in the big city being smelly is akin to being homless and being homless is considered to be in very poor taste. to be seen in public and to be considered homless is the hight of affrontery. driving is a small part of the LA scene. owning is a major player. the more you own the more you are. the less you own the less you are. if you own nothing no one sees you. (if they do they are very annoyed - it is that "there but for the grace of god go i" deal where it is considered rude to remind people of how tenuous a thread their lives are held together by.) i also suffer from the rightious indignation of someone who has never done any kind of drugs except for those that were prescribed and then grudgingly. i do not trust pharmicuticals except as stock options. that and my normal childhood excise me from being the movie of the week poster child for quite some time. i suppose people who live dangerous on the edge lives seem more interesting to read about since none of us with a modicum of sence would ever do those scandalous things yet we admire and are facinated by these unsavory elements in society. how we do so need our depraved and moral free persons. i suppose my relationship with shanon would make a good movie of the week since he is straight and i am gay and for some strange reason we are living together as a couple in some convoluted manner. but we do not have great explosive arguments and nothing ever gets broken in a dramatic fury. we fight rarely and in that in silence. I can date any one else i want but i really do not want to, he is not jealous probably because he does not care. why is he not dating women? that is his problem and you will have to ask him. he still likes to look at them and most of our arguments stem from his unsavory use of the computer for that purpose. that is also one of the reasons i do not type as much as i use to. this machine is his many faced nude mistress on a thousand channels in wide screen technocolor. she takes hime from me and i hate her for that. for weeks i could not bear to sit at this terminal, to touch this keyboard. all i wanted to do was erase every byte of memory and watch her wide glass eye go black. things are moving towards better now but we are both very aware that this relationship will end. the question is when. the only answer is, not today. his indifference to me slashes open my heart and leaves my blood to pour out and burn my bones. but it also pours out to him and guides my hands to make his dinner and clasp his hand. he does cast a glance my way occasionally and he did by me something for christmas but where he does think of me he does not think about me. patience is a virtue and it makes good soup.