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5 Days, 500 miles

Of Hilltops and Eyelids

Shining through one's eyelids the sun is bright enough to tinge the field of vision a bloody orange which forces the brain to overcompensate and cast the world into a faint but opposite blue. One awakes with these alien eyes in a slightly different world, askew but not unknown, and instantly begins the slow return to chromatic acuity. These are napping eyes draining themselves of an accumulated gray as quickly as the mind shakes its sleepy slowness to remember where it is and what it’s doing.

Of Dynamite and the Sea

South of Carmel and folding upon itself in increasingly dense plica, the road begs one to lift their foot from the pedal and their eye from the road. It's lucky that these come in pairs since the snaking ledges offer views as grand as they are contorted. From these habitable traces of New Deal dynamite and pick axe: a rabid sea, an unexpected river, a brief canopy of trees... blue. The horizon an inflected gradation violated only-- and only briefly-- by a red hawk hanging in the coastal breeze. This is a place (or a life) formed by a precious, precarious balance: perfection so total, so complete that it can only be experienced as a traveler, as one passing through. If destiny manifested itself upon these cragged shores it has since built aesthetic shipyards, laid plans, and now quietly begs for an extension, if only visual, to the place where the horizontal slips imperceptibly into vertical.

On the Road, if Only Briefly

A cruise ship where it doesn't belong, a hidden female sphinx, iced coffee, peonies in a window. The illicit touching of copper skin, golf course/park, muddy roadsides and almost-brushfires, the pain of walking on sharp rocks, clouds, constellations both real and artificial, potato pancakes from purchased potatoes. The death bedroom, smelling a quarter mile of redwoods, giant eucalyptus, carnitas, a lemongrass disaster but 10 limes easily devoured. Camel? The sleeping ducks; the saltmarsh shrews; a plane landing; the sun falling; and then, also, just rocking out.

The Numerology of California

101, 280, 85, 101, 156, 1, 46, 101.