Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Part One of a Two Part Series Entitled: Storming the Gates of Rich Orange County With One of My Soul Brothers, Nik Kazoura
An early start was out of the question. God knows what we were doing, but I can guess there was ample dicking around, the eating of a Popsicle, one solved Rubik's Cube, and a healthy dose of the British sketch comedy show: Man Stroke Woman. And cut.
The beautiful day snuck in the back door of Bluefish Lane, through Margo's mini-potted-forest on the back porch and eventually made its way over to Nik and I. We were seated in our underwear at the computer when it slapped us both in the face and said, "Get your asses out here. Do NOT waste me." We followed the instinct to soak up some California sun, and I took it in with a little greater appreciation, knowing that for the first time in five years I would not be enjoying a Southern California Spring or Summer. (which are not all that much different from a Southern California Fall or Winter)
Unsure of exactly where to go or what to do, we just hopped in the xB and started driving down PCH...I've driven this stretch a million times before, but on this drive I realized how quintessentially California it is. If one travels to California, they ought to spend an entire afternoon just driving through the beach cities. I told Nik about Esau, the saxophonist I had met on the subway in New York who told me he had never been to California, but that he hoped to be able to take his two daughters to Disneyland someday. I hoped instead he would just be able to make this drive some day. I cannot imagine not knowing what a California sunset feels like...I wish everyone in New York could experience just one, as I am sure it would help them embrace the idea of stopping to take a breath and just enjoy the moment as-is...Perhaps they would also come to understand the music of Jack Johnson, and Jimmy Buffet's hit tune, "Margaritaville."
We drove in and out of cities we had explored before, and I began to get anxious to find a new spot to start playing with Nik's camera during "magic hour." Dana Point presented itself nicely...Our walk started on a cliff overlooking the bay of ridiculous yachts. Orange County continues to blow my mind as one of the most outward displays of wealth I have encountered. What makes it so mind-boggling is that luxury is common: the sight of Porches, Lamborghinis, and Rolls Royces no longer receives a second glance. This is the area that causes America its confusion about wealth. We see "average Americans" with these luxurious toys, the newest technology, going shopping midday during the work week, and we think that only if we have the lifestyle they have, are we wealthy. What we forget is that they are among the top two percent wealthiest in the world, our context is totally skewed...
I see how easy it is to get going on a tangent in this blogging activity...yikes...
Along our walk we encountered another cultural gem. About twenty-five Orange County Parents gathered to take pictures of their precious fifteen and sixteen-year-olds going to what may have been their first winter formal. These kids were dressed to the nines, and have been groomed to be our nation's next wealthy upper-class, for they know no other way. As my mind wandered to thoughts of high school dances, and beautiful girls whom I had no idea how to act around, I remembered what it was like to be at the very beginning of this figurative dance between the sexes. Having absolutely no clue, and no experience, but acting as though it was the opposite...And as I look at myself now, not all that much has changed. I'm disappointed to say I haven't made all that much progress as far as my understanding of the dance goes. I've racked up a fairly wide range of experiences, but the female species continues to be one of the biggest question marks in my brain. As I told a dear friend once, "There is nothing on this planet that has such a polarizing affect on me as women." I like to believe that upon death this will be one of the first revelations, because as it stands now, I often tell God, "There has got to be an easier way."
Weaving our way downward toward sea-level, the sun neared its ritual setting...laughing at dogs and continuing to battle urges to punt the little ones, I articulated (one of my favorite words) my desire not to fall into the trap of society: buying a dog with your lover. Everywhere we looked there were couples walking quietly, often looking distracted or disengaged, led by a dog on a leash. At this point in my life it just looks like another beautiful distraction, and quite the money pit (this past summer my parents spent $1500 on dog surgery to retrieve five rocks and two Scrabble pieces from little Zoe's tummy).
Past pirate ships and private docks we came to the breakwater edge where Nik attempted a super-slow shutter speed picture of the water. Better luck next time. Gazing out at the Pacific Ocean I wondered about my plans to be on the other side of this little pond next summer in Thailand. I also remember thinking "this would be a great place to bring a girl."
Fulfilled. Exactly. IT. I experienced the joy of feeling alive, full of love, and accomplishment. I was glad the sun had coaxed us out of the comforts of home, and resisted the urge to kick myself for not enjoying sunsets more often...Let Go.