BACK ON THE METRO
RIDE ON THE GREYHOUND DRUNK ON THE AMTRAK
But not actually drunk, just resisting the sleepy tug of jetlag (cause god knows it’s some unreasonable hour back home) and waiting to hit the coast (and then missing it) – that moment where the sea unfolds itself quickly and carefully and massively in front of you.
Is there anything as wide and as vast as the Pacific Ocean?
I wish I could say it was the jetlag that caused me to miss the great unravelling of the sea but it was actually because the AMTRAK double decker Pacific Surfliner has free wifi and a poet I follow on Facebook put a call out for favourite lines from books and I was trawling through all of them because I thought there might be something I could steal.
Maybe I’ll catch it on the way back.
Did you know LA has a metro? A lot of people don’t. I only know because Sacha’s cousin works for the TTC in Toronto (The Toronto Transport Commission, or as he told us everyone liked to call it: Take The Car). He asked us several times about the metro. I guess he liked the surprise of it, that little shocked face people make. And I find myself asking people the same question. So, did you know?
A lot of it’s brand new and occupies clean concrete fly-overs and yet still smelled like day-old piss but I felt too awkward to move away from the woman holding a pillow to her chest who I thought the smell must be coming from.
Once we hit the coast it felt like we might never leave it. There were people littered everywhere despite the nauseated grey of the sky and a leftover chill on the air. Surfboards and little pastel huts and a rainbow umbrella nestled into some rocks like a mollusc and then the incredible red tips of some skinny unknowable plants bundled together endlessly and pulled loosely over the shoreline like fur.
If LA is yellow, San Diego is beige and green. To add to the greenness I caught the Green Line Train and a bald man with a green shirt on and an army green rucksack got on it to give us news about the rapture.
He seemed unassuming at first.
THE END IS NEAR
He didn’t stay long but he filled up the whole train like a balloon and we all pressed our faces to the windows to get away from it and the old guy across the aisle from me laughed when he finally got off.
JUDGEMENT DAY IS COMING
On the surfliner a girl across from me spoke too loud on the phone and told her friend she only cried for a day and a half after txting her boyfriend about whether them breaking up was what he REALLY wanted cause if it was she would have to tell her mum and her mum would fucking hate him if they ever got back together and that if they were properly broken up she WOULD fuck other people.
EVERY FALLEN ANGEL THAT FELL FROM THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BELONGS TO GOD
She sent him a txt saying “good luck with your new, uglier girlfriend.”
My airbnb was on a street, or a whole lot of streets, where every house is the same sickly beige trimmed with brown with the same windows and the same patch of grass out front and no doubt the same people filling them up and living that kind of nostalgic suburban dream.
EVERY SOUL IN THE RAPTURE OF HELL BELONGS TO GOD BECAUSE HE PUTS YOU THERE FOR YOUR LIFE DECISIONS
There are even little yellow fire hydrants on the footpaths
WHEN YOU OPEN THAT DOOR WILL YOU GO UP INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN OR WILL YOU CLOSE IT AND GO UP INTO THE RAPTURE OF HELL
I had dinner at a little Mediterranean place where they had a neon sign above the door reading “fine dining.” The Simpsons were on and I got confused by the tipping system.
DON’T GET MAD AT THE MESSENGER GET MAD AT THE ONE THAT ROBBED YOU. THAT BLINDED YOU
(please shut up)