emma b. says

Friday, September 23, 2005

Out in the business park, between the expensive cars shoveled into parking slots and the bright, glancing diamonds on the baylet flowing freely under the freeway, I had my afternoon cigarette. The priviledged Marin youth were crewing and dragging their oars, several snowy egrets balanced stoically on a single leg, and the swallows sang and skimmed the manicured lawns and emerald humming birds hummed in the hedge and it was bucolic save the north/south rumble of highway 101. And it was quiet but for the skittering of those heart wrenching augurs of darkness and rain, those lovely autumn leaves, dropping out of trees with suicidal abandon to clutter gutters. Several times within the tinted confines of my office I heard the landscape men, suited in forest green, fire up the leaf blower, and blow all those fucking leaves into oblivion. But where on earth do they blow to, and why must they trail those noxious clouds of spent gasoline.

My father used to go totally OCD on leaves, mind you, being a Californian, we have only a passing acquaintance with Autumn, it's more of a concept then a season, a cursory handshake between late summer and the earnest chill of November. Especially in San Francisco, since the only summer we ever know is indian summer, which seems to summarily dismissed all of us sun starved souls this year. But even in my golden foothills, most our trees are not diciduous, and most have needles in lieu of leaves, my father would be strapped into the blower, blowing all of those brittle needles into slipshod pyramids on either side of the drive.

And then there is the fragile dogwood, bare through all fall and winter, to tentatively unfurl in the first blush of spring in the first blush of pink, in all the brazen magesty of hyper-fetishized virginity. The blossoms bruise easily and drive chattering bluejays to distraction.

I had something to say before I got lost in the trees. But I suppose that if a girl were to run out of words on a Friday night being lost under the trees is not such a bad place to be. Laid out on the red dirt under the parched manzanita with the sun dried sweet tart berries. Sucking in your stomache in the shadow of a cypress. Writing haiku under a japanese maple. Feeling perfectly English at the trunk of a willow. Remembering history at the base of a redwood. The art of thirst with an acacia. Music and smoke with Mahogany, and all of those massive, matronly magnolias, everybodies grandma as a tree, weathering hurricanes and general chicanery and axes of we dogged parasites. I've got a favorite magnolia in the park, she's pretty fat and sassy and prone to blooming on a whim, I don't know why I insist on anthromorpwhatever - well you know what I mean.

So there is another hurricane coming, Rita. Rita conchita. Lovely Rita. We've all gone a little hurricane mad, I'm still not finished grieving a city I only know in literature and song, and it's people, and it's pets, and Southern Gothic and Spanish Moss and trees with well endowed branches, we (I) are all waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm all keyed up with doomsday prophesy, I am going all Cassandra on your collective asses, and FYI I have no water should an earthquake come tonight and I have got remind myself to start wearing pyjama's. No more naked in the 700 count sheets without the presence of a lover (ha!). I could run to the Panhandle but the heady, brittle Eucalyptus won't shield me, and my ragged, windswept californian pines could give a good solid goddamn.

But enough of trees and shallow allegory, I need the affordable luxury of a hot bath, and should cataclysm strike as the heat is leeching all of the malingering ill will that my muscles had memorized, let the the cieling cave quickly, or my reflexes be spritely and shoot out my front door like a naked, shameless canon. I am not a hundred percent sure that I could die easy knowing that my faith in hope had been one hundred percent misplaced, that's some mettle that I'd rather not have tested.


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