Found a box way up on the closet shelf. Our wedding stuff. A third of a century old. Like a freaking time capsule. My my how thin I was in the pictures. And young. And dashing. And unwrinkled, my still thin wife helpfully points out. And tall, I add, being that I still am and will be forever. Infrastructure, ya know. Some things don’t change.
November 29th, 1980. I don’t remember much of that day. The weather was a perfect southern California late autumn day. A flawless blue sky. People come out to California on days like this and never go back. And I remember my brother’s punk rock friends, one of whom, all leather and spikes, knelt like a knight of old and kissed the bride’s hand. I remember my Dad being so nervous he Cecil Taylor’d the Wedding March. And how everyone was so poor then, back in 1980, after the endless recession of the seventies. So we were married at my folks’ house and the ceremony was sweet and the feast home-made and wonderful and my other brother’s band played Beatles songs out on the patio. Continue reading →
I was looking at a photo essay of abandoned buildings in Ireland. They’d had quite a tech boom there for a while, then came the crash. You know the story. And while I stared at bittersweet pictures of Ireland I couldn’t help thinking of stretches of Southern California. It was just after the our own crash, in 2009, way out in the distant suburbs, the ones that sprang from nothing in the nineties and oughts. Though unlike emerald Eire with all its rain, out there in the high desert or Inland Empire or Temecula the unwatered lawns withered and died. You could drive through a tract of beautiful homes and tell the abandoned places by the dead lawns. Dead, dead, dead, green, dead, green, green, dead, green, dead, dead…..you’d see the lone green lawn on a cul de sac and wonder how eerie it must be to live there.
Empty houses seem more than foreclosed. It’s like whole a family was snuffed out. Streets of them, just gone. Ghosts.