Friday, March 14, 2008

A Corner

The corner feels forgotten, a tiny space that only a few people know well and they like it that way. The sun shines tenderly bright, it bounces off the mostly white walls and takes the cold edge off the strong wind coming from the ocean. It is a T intersection. The upper part of the T is a long street that runs parallel to the edge of the beach. The vertical part of the T is another long street that extends into the heart of the suburbs. As that street approaches the ocean, it gets more and more gentle, as if the corners become blurry and the edges get soft and diffused with the presence of the salty water. The wires that cross over the street are less tense and more sparse, they dangle like black yarn over the rows of parked cars. The asphalt itself is paler, less taken care of, more full of holes. The trees are green but twisted by the recurrent attack of the wind and sand.
A pickup truck is parked in the middle of the block. A long haired man sits inside talking on a cell phone. A girl in tight jean shorts walks slowly by the truck. An old Filipino man carries a couple of grocery bags to his car and looks for the keys in his pocket. A blond surfer in dirty overalls walks into his garage, a slim cigarette between his fingers. In the top window of the corner house there is a small line of clothes, old light blue shirts put out to dry. A wooden horse sits on the porch of a flat dark brown house.
Every once in a while, a car drives by. Two young Latin guys sit in a class Chevrolet, laughing softly and nodding. A bald headed woman in a long blue coat laughs and gestures with her hands to an old woman as she walks into her apartment building. A green haired girl looks with curiosity at a strange bearded man that takes pictures of her house. A middle aged man rides by in an yellow bicycle, humming to himself as he leans his head back. Three birds fly above the telephone wires in a constantly shifting but unified formation.
At its deepest core, the place is quiet. Not with overwhelming true silence, but with the quietness of the light wind moving through the sunlight and gently touching the white walls. The wind has just enough power to blur and swallow any bits of conversation but not enough to have a definite deafening roar of its own. It covers without concealing. It makes the trees sway without pushing too hard. Its touch is just strong enough to be real but not loud enough to reign supreme.
I have been here many times before. I have driven past it on my way somewhere else. I have turned this corner when I had changed my mind and wanted to return to the park. I have even parked here and walked over the hill to the beach. But I have never really seen it. Like a sound that has been just beyond the reach of my hearing, it has been there all along, but it has gone completely unnoticed.
Today, just today, my vision centers and I can see it, I can feel it. There is so much here. The festering cruelty under the brush. The gentle sleepiness behind the window. The urgent need behind the car wheel. The crumpled memories on the window sill. The light touches of life in the unkempt garden. The face of a god on a discarded piece of twisted wood.
As my eyes open, and my heart speeds up with raw undefined true emotion, every little element of this place resonates with me and wherever I place my attention, more secrets are revealed.

No comments: