10 November 2013

The other day I was sitting in my car overlooking Venice Beach, awaiting a meet-up with old friends.  I was early so I sat in my car and watched the ocean.  While watching, I saw a lot, there were families and tourists enjoying the water and the pier, beautiful waves, lots of birds…and there were two young homeless men who were screaming at each other, jumping around, and inches from a fist fight for over half an hour.

Summerland beach, new year's day 2013I sat boxed in my car, windows up mostly because of the chill in the wind.  The trashcan on the beach near me was checked at least every ten minutes for cash-value recyclables.  When I saw how many people checked the can, I was surprised; but it was when the relatively well-dressed man, the one in running shorts and shoes much like the ones I wear, when he checked the can, that is when I noticed my alarm at my surroundings.  Until that moment I didn’t feel connected to where I was, I was simply an observer.  Somehow the similarity, that I perceived in the man with the running gear to myself, stirred in me, or rather woke me up to, the feelings of how close I was to danger.  The glass windows of my car were all that separated me from this outside world, of Venice Beach, whose harshness was revealing itself in greater magnitude the more I looked at what I saw.

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