Friday, July 10, 2009

On the Horizon


Lying out in the sun on the porch, I smell the burnt trees the breeze is carrying over the hills. In the distance a big cloud of smoke rises up, an arrow pointing at the fire below. I know from the TV that the flames are rushing to greet the Getty. The Getty, alone and under-loved, looks down over the Los Angelenos sitting in traffic on the 405 and asks, “Do you appreciate me now?”

If it burns down, will the people who never cared much for it overcompensate by recollecting their favorite Getty memories?

Overcompensation seems to be the theme these days as people forget their grievances against Michael Jackson and instead turn their attention to his greatness. He’s been allotted nineteen of my seventy channels. The fire leaping at the Getty only gets one, but should that make it any less significant?

What it is is a pang in the stomach; a small realization that maybe we were focusing on the wrong things; that if we can’t move beyond the expanse of the ocean, we’ll never consider the secrets that lie in it’s depths.

There are heat waves on the floor of my porch, little squiggly lines that don’t seem real. I do the test I used to do in college when I thought the mushrooms were finally kicking in and close my eyes. If the lines are still there, I know I’m hallucinating. Today I am not, although on any given day it’s just as likely I am, even on the days I’m completely sober.

It’s funny how the heat distorts things, like a rose-colored looking glass without a specified goal such as optimism. It’s as if the heat is just as confused about its intent as we are but continues traveling with the wind nonetheless, hoping things will make sense somewhere along the way.

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