Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Remembering Pasadena

Being light as a bug blinking over calm waters, a quiet walk down B street, up 18th to D street, turning before making it to E.

Yes, it is cold here, but not snowing.

On the television the Rose Bowl begins. I think of Pasadena. Driving solo over that gothic bridge from Highland Park, cruising down Figueroa to Colorado Blvd. Parking and walking the outdoor shops: Urban Outfitter, B&N, that pet food delicatessen that only sold fresh baked pastries for dogs and cats, that record store that only sold records.

Sometimes I went to movies by myself, in fact, I remember seeing Von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark" by myself at that oldtime Pasadena Theater that eventually got shut down.

I think of Christmas that year, how it was cold for LA and I wore an oversized black suit jacket to impress the costume designer I was with, and how she talked me into buying a present I didn’t really want to buy.

And all the while, the ocean was so close by.

I think of the Italian dinner with Fast Eddie and his sister, how she squirmed in her seat with excitement because I told her I studied consciousness with Dr. Raymond Moody at UNLV. Fast Eddy had never heard of him.

Then there’s the Pasadena I really remember. The nights Basquiat and I couldn’t sleep, worried about work, worried about friends, worried about loneliness and so we drove ceaselessly the streets of Pasadena; he, being a cat, enjoyed the passing cityscape without comment. But I spoke to him on those drives. I told him about my thoughts and feelings and I imagined that he could understand me.

He gave a lot of good advice.

But this is not Pasadena. And my cat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, disappeared in Las Vegas shortly after those drives.

I’m now many years gone from that place, but surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), I'm still as alone, except that now I’m driving solo down O street to get a gingerbread latte with no cat and no ocean close by.