Sham Diego


Where Else?

Where else but La Jolla, California can you count on seeing a fender bender between a Maserati and a Mini Cooper?

Where else do the sunsets come sliding in at this angle? Each one expressing a separate category of wistfulness and glare?

Where else can you say the breeze doesn’t blow here, it caresses the spaces between things?

Where else can one say for every freckle faced kid making a sand castle on Solano Beach there’s a homeless guy in a windbreaker scouring the dumpster behind some overpriced bistro looking for a piece of barely nibbled croudite?

Where else is it true that for every gristly old-timer barking out tired tirades from the end of the bar at Rock Bottom there’s an eyebrow plucked tummy tucked soccer mom tapping her french tips on the dashboard of her Escalade while screaming fashion advice into the designer cell phone receiver dangling from her perfect ear?

Where else does the ghost of plien aire painter Edgar Payne lurk in the purple shadows of a toll road underpass and you can still hear, on warm summer nights, with the top down and the radio off, a chorus of bullfrogs throbbing in the darkness off Jimmy Durante Drive?

Where else can you watch 50 year old health nuts cultivate melanoma patches the size of sand dollars while they suck their stomachs in for the passing waitresses, fresh out of high school, scurrying to work in their starched white shirts and food stained black aprons?

Where else can you see trophy wives with bodies as bulbous as the Hummers they drive to Whole Foods to pick up their organic Bok Choy, while they balance genetically altered miniature Lahsa Apsos against the two flesh covered synthetic bags that bobble obscenely like Macy’s parade balloons where their breasts should be?

Where else can you see the rows of identical townhouses that stand like gravestones along the stoic ridges above the Camino Real, gated communities where gigantic cars with names like Buick and Lincoln still roam scrape against each other in cafeteria parking lots driven by ancient, desiccated zombies with glaucoma clotted eyeballs shrouded in sunglasses with enough UV protection to view an A-bomb test?

Where else can you drive recklessly down Carmel Valley Road, your tires flicking gravel at the easels of the lousy painters that litter the roadside every weekend in their four hundred-dollar goddess-wear smocks? Painters whose talent, if collected in the asshole of a gnat would rattle around like lima beans in an oil tanker.

And where else does my morning walk down the sidewalk get accompanied by the wet squish of snails underfoot, each one on some desperate sortie to get from one patch of ivy to another, their life interrupted by my carelessness?

“My God, Morrie. Your house is completely crushed! This Southern California sun will dry you to a crisp by noon. What happened?”

“I don’t know. It all happened so fast.”



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