One afternoon

i keep having these flashes of the view from Grandpa Wrights front patio, out into 
the vastness of the mirage that is the California desert area off the 138,
and somewhere between Palmdale and Victorville. An area that is sure to grow, one day,
and probably a good investment…yet not in my lifetime Frank.
But we all see different things as we stare at the same open space.
Even the idea of distance is individual to each of us.
After all it is just an idea of how relative one thing is from something else.
And how is that relative-ness measured? Perhaps in time?
Let’s say, for instance, the time it takes to travel from the well heeled suburbs of Los Angeles
to the middle of nowhere outside of Llano with a population of 1,319.
The time it takes to rise to an elevation of 3,169 feet, without making a wrong turn
and finding yourself on the way up Angeles Crest Highway
in the dark of night
until you realize
the only thing you are passing
in the dark of night
are the slightly headlight illuminated shadows
of giant Saguaro cactus
and nothing else,
but i digress, that is another story with another old man
in this story, the late afternoon wind is whipping past the last living pine on this front patio
of slowly disintegrating and cracked concrete, the bit of dust
stirring up from the hard soil is high desert warm, the few predatory birds overhead
are enjoying their search for their evening meal, catching tail winds of Mile High’s ridge out back.
The small fountain which has found a second life as a dog bath is filed with life…green life,
algae of a thousand forms, which the dogs don’t seem to mind at all. Meanwhile C&B have
cleaned up the large pool so they can take a dip when they have finished raking up pine needles,
and hosing down what dirt will loosen from being wind whipped to every exterior surface,
nothing is sacred from the sun and wind here, not the tennis court, not the 9 hole golf course,
not the collection of non-working family vehicles and campers and boats,
none of the life collections that a ”collector of things and curiosities” would keep
in the galvanized bins, and rusting pails and rotting wooden boxes.
Yet no one here really cares
about the transitory nature of things that is so evident, as the last layer of dust is removed,
revealing just enough of the solidness expected to decorate the table
for another Fourth of July, take a dip in the pool,
deal the cards for another round, and tell some more stories with a refreshing glass
of orange juice, under the last living patio pine tree
and once in a while
exclaim on the wonderful view
out towards the 138
and beyond
where the desert dust of this afternoon
blurs the vast flatness of landscape with the sky that meets it
where time is measured from the sun peaking over one ridge to settling in shadows
behind another
where one can drift in dreams and immaterial things,
where one hears the ghosts of conversations, through toothless grins, and sees
the imprint of a century through one pair of eyes,
where one is aware of ones awareness and the waning of it,
until all that remains
is the story of it
one afternoon

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