There is the biggest sun sinking outside. Really big. Bill Burroughs big. And I have those almost embarrassing Frank Stella grain elevators that rise up into it right across the street. No matter what day it is, no matter what year it becomes, I’m always, always, always post-cubist faceted, and the stentorian tones of some art historian keeps telling me about the musculature of american architecture.
This when I’m walking out to my car on the curb. Every morning.
I can’t stop it.
And that sun refuses to reach out a damning tentacle and take it all away, leaving me (after millions of years of recovery from that solar spank) the ohlone marsh I think this all used to be. I feel it, even though I’m standing here on the sidewalk. I feel the prior incarnation underneath the surface of the current incarnation. It’s a little unnerving, but I prefer that to the not-notice thing I see all around me.
I tried to pay attention to the sun on the playa, but it seemed, well, really high. Higher than usual. A little out of reach. So I looked at the things it illuminated instead. Only once, in the ribbed shade of lazy camp, did I let it turn my irises to pin points while we enjoyed the proceeds from a barter of three onions and a large bottle of industrial cabernet. Froggy made pitcher after pitcher of margaritas in his french press coffee maker, plunging and plunging and plunging until we wondered, as well as this arrangement was going, why anyone decided a blender was necessary.
And the sun sank behind the bordering range ever so slowly.
It was a good sun, don’t get me wrong, one of the best. But it isn’t this sun disappearing now. This sun is the sun that lived on Arden Way during my childhood. The Arden Way Sun could illuminate the coastal range below it, 100 miles away, and the sierra nevada straightline east of it, 100 miles the other way. Seeing that way, and that other way, then that way, then that other way, and once more that way, etc. etc., became a moment of ritual heartbreak for me. Later, when a jet would pass through the scene at some oblique angle, heading for the polar route, I would brim with tears and cup it in my landlubbed hand: that could be me, I’d say to whoever was with me at the time.
It was almost a dare.