Monday, November 17, 2008

Raining Ashes

P-T forecast a high temp of 92 degrees today. Even though I have a cold, I forced myself to get out of the apartment. The bus was only 3 minutes late, which ironically got me to the library at 10:03; luckily there was a computer available. After browsing magazines, I wandered through the crowd at a Prop 8 passage protest. Could not hear the speaker at all; poor loudspeaker system. I saw a man writing, so walked over to ask the lady behind the table if she was collecting signatures on a petition. No, she said, we're talking REVOLUTION! Oh my. I don't want to go to jail, I said, no revolution for me, unless they shoot to kill.

I had wanted to get a photo of bicycle cops on the roof, rather closed roof top park, but they moved by the time I had finished talking to the woman. I later noticed cops on the top deck of the parking structure. Sniper positions, methinks, as if these well dressed gays and lesbians were planning a riot. Of course, the woman did tell me, revolution, um.

I was trying to get another photo having to do with my homeless days and some guys going in opposite directions stop to talk and I wait. Bits of the conversation: fire, on the corner, Hawthorne. I could not catch where the fire was; racked my brains for a Hawthorne St. anywhere in L.B.; Hawthorne the city is nowhere near "around the corner" from the civic center/library area. The air was thick with the smell of smoke from a large fire.

Wish I had taken my poncho off before walking from there to McDonalds. Almost wished I had opted for a 7/11 coffee and hotdog. Guy at French Fryer said: Fire in Seal Beach. Another clerk asked, "so what you were watching the TV news now?". "No," he said, a customer in the restroom told me. Wished I could have heard more of the conversation. What was on fire in Seal Beach? Must be pretty dramatic for the smell to be that strong downtown.

Continued the walk to Esperanzo and sat at the top of the steps leading to beach as I ate. There used to be benches on either side of those steps. Guess they do not want homeless sitting or sleeping on them. Rushed the sandwich, so I could go to the beach and use the restroom. Wished I had not bothered bringing a beach towel, because I was so tired, I did not think I would bother with laying in that sun. Did not feel anywhere near 92, but nice. I did flop and may have dozed. 40 minutes later I opened my eyes and the sky was a bit covered. Some dark angry clouds hanging low over blue sky, over the ocean. Above the clouds and to the west were normal white clouds. Sun had a bit of haze cover, so headed home.

Drat just missed the bus that comes from Seal Beach, north on Redondo. Estimate walk time, perhaps perfect to catch the next one. Ended up walking the entire way home. I was counting my steps; 250 steps per block; got distracted by bits of white stuff floating lazily to the sidewalk. Wondered if it was ash from the Seal Beach fire. What time had I left the library? At least two hours had passed. The white stuff became more plentiful the more north I got. Than I began to see long wisps of black stuff and soon noticed hoods of cars covered with the white stuff. Yup, it was raining ashes.

No light at 7th and Coronado. Aches and tired, did not want to walk one block to Redondo, but wanted to pass a vending machine to get the Press-Telegram. Machine out. Likewise the one on the other side of Redondo and 10th. Since I still had McDonald's coffee in the travel mug I was carrying, did not want to try to stow it in the heavy back pack and check the service station mini-mart. Stopped after I re-crossed Redondo gauging the walk north to see if that vending machine had the P-T. If not I added steps and decided I could live without today's news.

I had Sunday's P-T TV guide, so checked to find out what time the news comes on. Most likely would be something about that Seal Beach or Hawthorne fire or "around the corner" L.B. one that could perfume the air and rain ashes. The "Mod Squad" movie had already started, but plugged in the TV to watch; pass time until the news comes on. Oh my. No movie. Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda are on fire. I flipped stations trying to find a station that came in clearer. After a bit, a Los Angeles police officer spoke and asked L.A. residents to converse not only water, but power. Okay, TV off and best turn off and unplug the laptop.

If those distant fires could be raining ashes here, I wonder what Disney Land looks like right about now.

The police officer also mentioned the Prop 8 protests in Los Angeles; a bit perturbed that valuable manpower (okay and woman power) needed to fight the raging blazes and help evacuate residents are busy with the massive protest events. Wishing, now I had a smoke detector in the apartment. 11/15/08

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