My car is parked quite a distance away, so I decide to walk along the beach rather than Pacific Ave - it's a block out of the way but infinitely more satisfying than morning traffic. As I round the corner, two young Latinos are scrubbing graffiti off of a wall, and one of them nearly jumps out of his skin, startled by my sudden appearance. He curses fluently, and then laughs, smiling.
The sea and the sky are exactly the same shade of blue-grey, and I can't make out where the ocean stops and the sky starts. Along the beach there's a curious figure; is it something mechanical? The angle of the triangle formed by its two legs is mathematically perfect, and the lines quite straight. I stop and look - no, it's a woman doing yoga. I see her torso swivel as she descends into a graceful stretch. I took this picture, but you can't really make out which one is her. They put those fences up every Winter while they work on beach reclamation.
A few blocks further down a couple rides by on bikes, striving to hold hands as they do. Their progress is ambling and a little worrisome to pedestrians, such as myself. He's kind of a punk-rock kid, and she's some sort of South American who doesn't appear to have a scrap of Spanish blood in her - she has the high cheek bones, dark skin, almond-shaped eyes of the pure Indian blood. I'm having a hard time putting words to how her appearance is both beautiful and very different from the average without sounding like a racist bastard. What's remarkable about her, I guess, is that she's living testament that beauty doesn't have to be bland.
Rounding the corner past the coffee shop that has outdoor tables always full of sort of hostile homeless people. Passing the "Bordello Alexandria" which has a new tiled-top cafe table and chairs in their scrap of a front yard, stoutly chained to the fence. That's Venice - there's the urge to put out beautiful, decorated things - but the necessity to make sure they're lashed down.
Crossing Pacific. A man walks by, who is the very eidolon of a 1950's Delta blues musician; black, white dress-shirt open at the color, thin black tie, goatee, dark sunglasses and short-cut hair frosted with grey at the temples. He's got a guitar slung on his right shoulder, a Bible tucked under his left arm, and a purposeful stride.
Crossing Main. "City of Delusion" by Muse on the iPod. There's a school off to the left. In a little fenced in yard that's recently been set aside as a garden, two older women teach three young girls of about eight or so how to pot plants. The girls are wide-eyed and attentive, there is nothing of the post-ironic boredom about them at all. The whole tableau is suffed with a Hobbity love of plants that makes me smile.
Driving up Main. "Fiery Crash" by Andrew Bird on, as I plug the iPod into the car stereo. Passing the YogaWorks, a little old lady with painfully pale skin and silver hair is walking in with a yoga mat on her shoulder. It's nearly the same size she is - amazing that she's so spry.
Rounding Colorado. At a park bench outside the Sears, a black woman in a long dress paces back and forth, declaiming and gesticulating with much gusto. While people talking to themselves and gesturing madly is hardly unusual in Santa Monica, in this case it seems that she's rehearsing a monologue, ignoring the world passing by on bikes, on foot, in cars. "Don't Panic" by Coldplay comes on. And I agree, it's a beautiful world we live in. Yes we do, yes we do, yes we do.