Friday, June 10, 2005

no concessions

I wake at the same time here—quarter to seven in the morning. This morning and yesterday I was struck by the profundity of snails the morning brings out—glassine creatures making their way across the earth and straw with curling horns and brown speckled shells. I used to have a phobia of snails, when they lived in our letterbox and ate our mail,but maybe Australian snails are more violent, or else I am less so now,but now I am struck by how tender and vulnerable in spite of their shells are snails. I used to feel sick when I crunched a shell underfoot—but the sickness that comes of both pleasure and repulsion—now, stumbling half asleep down the path to the bathroom, I dodge them as best I can. I have no desire to kill them. I feel rather benevolent toward them.

The steps to my tent are barely there—they were cut into the dirt with a backhoe and have already worn away—the perpendiculars and flats are shallower and trickier each time I use them. But I take pleasure in navigating these few sod steps—each time I climb them I have to be careful of my footing, and I realize that my feet are erasing them every day.

The ocean is blue under a table of clouds. I went there yesterday after work, snuck in really, because you have to pay $5 just to park there and go in. I was talking about this with the owner of the property where I am staying, Brock, last night… Having to pay for access to a public beach. He says that until recently this wasn’t the case, but someone bought the concessions for all the state beaches and runs them for a profit. I don’t know how true this is, but I do know that California has started charging people for everything—and it feels damned perverse that a person who doesn’t have five bucks will either be barred from going to the beach at all, or ticketed if they go without paying. When will we be charged to breathe? Not to sound like Rousseau or any of those guys, but isn’t it a universal human right to exist on this earth and walk it? The beach is (or used to be) free entertainment, gratis solace, better than Prozac, Hollywood cinema, the carnival, etc. Hell,before that it was larder and mother and field of toil… Now it’s been stickered and cordoned and you gotta pay, baby, you gotta pay…


Blogger Boz said...

Joni was right:
They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

10:46 AM  

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