San Diego gets cold at night. But, it’s a wet cold, a west coast cold, a kind of chilly, you-wish-you-brought-a-jacket cold, not that hard, bitter West Texas cold that bites at your ears as you walk windy avenues, it’s more of an enveloping cold that seeps deep inside you, as you struggle up the endless hills in this so-called city. It’s the kind of cold you can forget about, for a moment, if you pass out in the street, numb both to the weather inside and outside your head, numb from enough vodka sipped from the dregs of those tiny liquor bottles you found, the kind they sell only on airplanes to alkies and in deli windows to winos, too broke to buy any booze in a larger size.
And in the inevitable morning, when the sanitation truck sprays its chemical-smelling cleaning solution all over the street that was a moment ago your bed, you can pick up and move on, perhaps to one of those extra-long bus rides which meander to the ocean, the number 26 bus, was it? And, even though it’s bumpy, sleep a little. Get off the bus at the water, walk to the beach, and sleep some more, under the soft Western sunlight, in the middle of winter, so warm, considering, compared to West Texas, oh Texas, you’ll wonder what your prodigal son is doing now, and dream of a field, and a phone in the field that rings but you can’t answer, there’s simply the sound of ringing, until the white light of a cop’s flashlight wakes you up again and it’s back on the bus to Imperial Avenue, and then what?
- San Diego, 2003