Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fragments from a South Facing Shore

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Long Beach now. But recounting yesterday, early evening, the sun remitting, setting in the West but it feels like North because Long Beach's shore faces South, which is still strange. My whole orientation is off. I needed some air so I went for a walk along the Bluff Park, this is the park that runs parallel to the shore, a bit above it. Passed Bixby Park on the way. Lots of people out, playing soccer, reclining under trees, kids playing. All kinds of ethnicities at play. Then a piercing, brassy musical sound cut the air just ahead at the North end of the Bluff. It sounded like it could have been coming from the speakers on an ice cream truck. As I got closer to the bluff, it became clear that it was a big band performing. Crowds were gathered, arrayed on portable chairs and on the grass to see music performed on a stage set up in front of a white tractor trailer container with a large sign hanging askew that read, "Long Beach Municipal Band." While the prospect of some musical entertainment seemed promising for a fleeting minute, I made a left, heading South along the bluff, for some exercise and people watching while in motion.

Some images:

+ Two Latino boys with a puppy pit bull. One was dressed more street urban with baggy pants, big black shirt, shaved head. His companion was more wassup rocker skaterish, wearing tight black jeans, black shirt and long hair growing out strangely, like it was layered once, but outgrew that becoming a kind of bulbous shape that jutted straight down at the shoulder, down to just below the shoulder blades. They were wresting with the puppy. The baggy pants boy was more rough. The skater boy, at one point got down on the grass and took a picture of the puppy while his friend was holding it. For a second it seemed like the skater was secretly trying to take a picture of his friend and in that same instant it looked as if the friend was posing while not trying to pose, but looking off in such a way that he was striking a pose with this feigned disaffected countenance. The baggy pants boy had a handsome face. The skater had more abrupt, clunky facial features.

+ The bluff itself is gangly and parched a littered. Further South I noticed some kittens on a ledge a few yards below street level. I stopped to snap a picture. A little gray and white kitten took notice of me. It pricked its head up, staring. It was adorable. It worked its way up the bluff a little closer. I felt a connection to this kitten. I wanted to take it with me, for some reason. It was gorgeous. It seemed like it needed protection. It seemed like it liked me. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the pretty kitten, the light little smudge peeking at you in the center of the frame.

Anyways, it was a nice walk and all this had me feeling calm and chill for the first time in a while. The feeling reminds me of this song called "Conquering Kids" by a band from Seattle called Throw Me The Statue. I've been listening to it a lot lately. Something about the song's tonality and melodic progression makes it mildly revelatory. "New York screamed believe in me, we drove out west instead," a melancholic downturn at the end of the phrase. Again later, with the same somber turn, "I was young once but not today. I was making ground and then things changed." Listen to it if you get a chance.

"Conquering Kids"[MP3] by Throw Me The Statue


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