Sunday, November 07, 2010

Holding on

I don’t think I’ll miss my fire escape, as long as I have a place to sit outside in the sun, preferably somewhere comfortable like the patio here in Pismo Beach with all these crazy things growing, jungle plants now seen as the ultimate California. I don’t need any jungle plants, just somewhere to sit and hopefully something beautiful to look at. Although there can’t be anything quite like waking up and walking two blocks to the beach, barefoot, stepping into tidal pools and across dunes and studying all the foam and seaweed and tiny bugs and birds and strange plants growing, and look over there, the ocean. Over there, the mountains. Over there, the sky.

It is definitely moist here – surprise, surprise, with the ocean and all. Last night it got super-damp and Randy and I walked through this strange downtown where everything looks on the verge of closing or in a time warp, maybe remnants from the golden age of gangsterism and even right in the center of town so many empty lots, but then you take a look at a real estate flyer, and they’re trying to sell some new condo for $1.2 million. It faces an empty lot, and sure the other direction is the ocean but really, $1.2 million? I guess this is what they mean by the crisis in California – no one can afford to live here in these coastal towns where everything is speculation even through the crash. Like that tiny rundown abandoned house, probably they’re waiting, waiting for the next speculation and I wonder about the mold, because it’s not moldy at all where we’re staying, not even a hint, is it easier to keep away than in San Francisco?

Abandoned lots and then rundown motels right on the ocean, but still they’re trying to sell that condo for $1.2 million. Or, right next door to us, an uglier one where the parking lot takes up the whole first floor, $699,000. But what about these tiny houses, the ones where people have somehow managed to stay, probably all of this was tiny houses before the first housing boom, maybe the 1960s, and still some of them are hanging on, front yards of gravel and sand and weeds right next to some kind of condo or hotel atrocity, keeping something, holding on to the ocean.

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