Last Sunday, not this past Sunday but the one prior, I was feeling kind of down about not finding a job, somewhat lonely in this new city of mine. I did a bit of job searching, gave up figuring it was Sunday afternoon and not many places are open anyway (every place was open but I needed a way to rationalize doing nothing productive). I had seventy dollars left. I took a twenty out of my bank, which is a pocket in my Carhartt coat, and went to the liquor store.
Here was my plan: pint of cheap vodka, whatever greasy food I could then afford, watch the sunset and delve into my Dionysian Desires and feel happy for a while.
It was gorgeous.
I took off my shoes and rolled up my pant legs and plopped down in the cool sand. I ate a delicious greasy gyro and felt filled. I drank some of the soda and filled the rest with as much vodka as I could, put the top back on. The bottle was in a plastic bag and I drank that quick while the sun set.
I’ve seen the sun rise over the Atlantic. This was the first time I saw it set over the Pacific. It was, well, pacifying: The bright yellow orb slowly sinking and I could see the space between sun and horizon slowly shrinking. As the sun got lower it grew dimmer and I found I could stare at it, could see the roundness of the sun and as I stared at it the sun turned purple, everything else pink. Awesome. And for the first time I saw the column of light the sun lays down across the ocean like a column of satiating Heavenly-orange light coming right at me. I sat there and got drunk. I saw the sun meet the ocean and slowly slip bright burning red into the depths. Afterwards I got up and walked around. I felt wonderful and I talked to many people, including a man who had been on the pier all evening photographing the setting sun. He was from New York and we talked a while. Standing on the pier the leftover sunlight was a dim glowing, blood red splotch along the horizon. It disappeared finally and I stood out on the pier and looked back at the beach and Los Angeles. To my left, the north, I could see the black outlines of the mountains against the dark blue sky. The mountains were mostly black save for a few places that were well lit. I saw Hollywood like a blanket of lights that ran up the side of the mountains. West of this the mountains were again black until another blanket of light was laid along the side of the mountains. I could even see the threads of these blankets, strings of lights roughly parallel, following the contour of the mountains. Then again it was black. Along the coast to the north, where the mountains jut west into the sea and form the northern boundary of the cove where Los Angeles sits, there was a thin line of lights here along the coast. It was all black until a little nook of lights. That was Malibu. To the South was a smaller mountain with the lights of Long Beach. I thought this was real cool: to the southeast was a line of bright dots in the sky, planes streaming in, coming into the airport. The line never ended. I stood there and watched as stars would brighten until I could tell they were moving. Then the stars, or planes, rather, would swoop in these long curves and fall in line and glow brighter and brighter until they disappeared behind the skyline.
I’m liking Los Angeles more and more.