Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Embedded in Redwoods (day seven and eight)

Business first- in unabashedly uncryptic terms, i didn't mention some things we've seen, or done.
Powell's City of Books- a block wide bookstore. Shelves and shelves and shelves and shelves. I spent too much money there, and looked more like a prick than I normally do. Voila:

Also, we visited Forks, where Twilight is set. I don't know anything about the books/film other than the fact that Robert "OMGZ he is soooo fit LOLZ" Pattinson appears, and there's some sexist Mormon lecturing subtext. So seeing a sad little town with nowt else cash in its lumber heart to ride the money train is kind of heartwarming.

That's enough of that.

In two days we have driven almost 600 miles. My neck vertebrae are gradually retreating into my skull. I feel shrunken, wizened and ancient. The ancient redwoods clamber skyward, and I feel small for the first time. I could be at any point in history, and this would still look the same. Endless creaking wood. Needles layered up and layered up into cushionsoft mattress. Endless creaking wood.

They topple over us, greybrown bark of tattered patina stretching upppppp and further up. Tallland. Fatland. Highland. Infinite land. Over 1,000 miles covered and we're not even done with the west coast. We'll never do the west coast. The world is big, but America is bigger.

Oric is sad and dead. Some monsters rampaged through here. The shops wish they'd been destroyed. Carvings approximate a grizzly bear. Nobody's trunk is big enough to offer it a home. The rugged Oregon man pumps gas, patrolling the forecourt bearded and oily. No one dares intrude on his concrete kingdom. We cower on our noble steeds, meek, mute, and beholden.

The blue collar's hollers attract the waitress's attention. Demanding and slyly demeaning. We have paid our taxes. We want our beer. The lowly overweight Mexican brings me the onion rings I summoned with my mind. Magic. We return our dishonestly appropriated goods. My belly explodes with omelette's and bread and milkshake. My food baby gurgles, bloated happy greedburps. A grizzled hobo perplexed in overalls, watches the traffic down the street. The stars are his blanket, the sidewalk his mattress. He feasts from bins. He feasts.

The SF shore is cool, waves rolling in from somewhere out there, way out there, out in the Pacific, the deep blue. Sun rolls wind rolls breakers rolls sand makes dunes. Grass fixes. Tramps in the bus shelter howl a nonsense brouhaha into the chilled maritime air. They know not what they say. The road was pockmarked with survivors- weathered beards and anoraks, a bivouac and a rucksack. They are organic. They grew with the road. Some have a thumb out. Some don't. They are thirty miles from anywhere. They are nowhere. They are everywhere.

This suburb is an art deco spread. Pastel colours in complementary shades. Faded and splattered. Diners fill the corners with cushioned booths and fat fried dollops. Their formica tabletops are encrusted with decades of milkshake, mayonnaise and ketchup. The owner is very San Fransiscan, right? Cable cars clang by, horns tooting a passive aggressive welcome, Whirlwhizz shuffle. A trolley falls over, a wheel snapped off. The turquoise motel spins out and away into sunrises and sunsets eternal. The little boy plays a funeral march on his penny whistle.

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