The Turquoise House: 8

I don’t like to admit that I have a favorite, but this one is edging into that territory ….

I almost forgot, but there is a small story to go with this grouping.

This particular structure has been haunting me for a little while. I could spot it while I was sitting in the bumper-to-bumper nightmare that is now Sunday late-afternoon traffic off the incline from the 101 Freeway to the 110 North. It can get ugly where all the roads of the four-level combine, so often I am simply sitting still on the transition road.

You see the city from a strange and different perspective from that angle, like looking at the hem of a skirt — just bursts of color, chain-link, letters on billboard big as buildings: that’s when I saw the little house. Old. Another Century old. Rare here. It slumps into the side of the hill where it’s perched along the freeway. It looks very tired. I wanted to find it, see it close up. Weeks passed and on my way from or to something, I would divert from the main thoroughfare and wind through what I thought had to be the right side streets to get to the street that sat at the lip of the freeway. It kept eluding me. Disappearing as I’d swoop into the deep curves of these old hilly streets that lead to neighborhoods vanished — Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine.

Until.

A wrong turn produced a right one — and there it was at the edge of a strange little half street cleared of houses except for these last two and a vacant lot and a homless man tatted up face to toe, with a loin-cloth-esque band tied just south of his midsection.

I kept snapping, so didn’t notice him first, but just as he passed me to retrieve his pallet and huge daypack from the bushes, he approached me but in a gentle whisper said: “God bless, you.”

Then he too disappeared along the curve.

September 2012

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