Auto body repair, train tracks, palm tree
This morning, an everyday scene in the “light industrial” area of Redwood City by the train tracks. Except that I spotted Mark Pritchard getting into his car and I resolved instantly to blog the moment.
Every once in a while I look down a street like this and see not the baking heat, the bareness, and the wasteland qualities of it — the somewhat ugly strip-mallish-ness of the scene — but a strange beauty and a feeling that palm trees are inherently surreal. I try to imagine how the street would look to a tourist from a very different part of the world, from a crowded northern European city that has been building up on itself for hundred of years, or from somewhere tropical with a wetter climate. And at moments like those I realize I live in a frontier desert. It’s sunny and warm, there are palm trees, and yet everything is so dry in the dry season. The street, wires, palm trees, and white-painted buildings look like movie sets, as if built on a whim, and built for impermanence. The landscape suddenly is de-normalized to me during these unexpected shifts of perception.
At moments like these I also long to see a record over time of everything I’m seeing, to see a movie of this same street corner 50 years ago and 50 years into the future, and I realize that to the past and the future, what I’m seeing right now would be quite strange.
Or, you know, I just wave and yell “Hi Mark!”