Friday, September 12, 2003

To the Man in Black
I hear the water sprinklers go on every half hour from about 9:30pm to 11pm every night. When I first moved into the complex returning to my origins as an apartment dweller, I was alarmed by the hissing, thinking it sounded like a busted radiator but couldn't be, until I remembered this is California, not the Bronx, and the sound I was hearing was that of water sprinklers. Now I anticipate the sprinklers bursting on the scene and speaking in wet tongues together, an evening ritual that soaks the ground to the consistency and smell of green tea leaves, while I sit in my bed or by the computer listening to crickets and the sound of people still gathered in the pool from across the street.

Those are condominiums. These are apartments.

Once we all started out the same, but nature and the housing market have differentiated us in this suburban corner of Oakland although we are living only a half mile from the freeway. It's part Darwinian; other part supply and demand.

Whenever I walk along Leona Canyon, I discover rabbits, garter snakes, and minions of birds that disappear inside the shelter of glossy California Bay trees.

The moon is almost full tonight, slightly waning over the Canyon. It surprises me how quickly this has become home. I'm unaware of my old house when I pass its exit on the freeway where for more than 20 years I heard ambulances arrive around the corner from Highland Hospital.

Johnny Cash died last night. He's finally escaped from Folsom Prison.

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