15 May 2008

a type of california love

earlier this week, dag and i were midway through our evening constitutional; walking down van ness ave, snapping photos and peeing on trees (dag has mad composition skillz!). the light turned red. we observe the law, as colliding with a slow moving cable car is not my kind of san francisco treat. dag sits (good boy!). i'm looking at the sidewalk through the viewfinder when a figure steps into the frame. i press down on the sony. snap. snap. snap. said figure proceeds to pour out a bottle of calistoga mineral water (for her dead homiez?). i was pleasantly surprised by the refreshing lemony scent wafting up because it can always be urine (does anyone else assume liquid on the sidewalk is pee?). she doesn't empty it into the street or into the bay (via the gutter) willy nilly but directly over the street name. with purpose. nary a nook or cranny was missed. bulls eye. i must've missed the screeching of her tires as she pulled over and jumped out of her car to do exactly that, exactly there. the car windows must've been up for i didn't hear her tell the driver, stop here! right here! this is it! maybe adding that her divining rod had never failed her before.

i wasn't mad or even startled by her. i held onto both dag and my camera. snap. snap. never looking up and away. snap. snap. i shut the fack up and let this moment play itself out. cali love i thought. not littering but respect. she was highlighting CALIFORNIA.

it reminds me of watching my family tending to my grandparents grave. we've been heading out to holy cross cemetery 10-12 times a year for the last 20+ years. needless to say, the fam has its ritual down. my lolo (island speak for: grandfather ;-) died back when the 80's weren't ironical but happening. it was my lola that laid down the blueprint. this was a woman tending to the grave of her love and the father of her 8 children. so it's not like she came strapped with a leaf blower. she's a lady, people! you watch and you learn. it's till death do you part and even then you respect, you remember, you revere. my lola died about 10 years ago and now it's my mom and her sisters; the children (or as my mom declared at the funeral,'we're orphans now"), that are pruning away any mischievous blades of grass that don't know to stay with the other blades of grass and not be creeping all over the edges of their headstone. it's their hands now, pouring water over the stone. their hands rinsing away the dirt and dust from the days we're not there. the hands move over the carved letters of their parent's names and birthdays, not unlike hands upon a prayer wall, fingers to god's lips or upon their beloved parents heads. it's cleaning. it's cleansing. (it's also a bit hollywood! how they hose down city streets because the camera just eats it up type deal, i could be wrong.)

so this lady dumps her soda water all over the street and it makes me wax all kinds of nostalgic. the light turns green, the cable car clangs and dag gets up. city living. cali living...till death do us part.

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