We sleep on the plane
off and on
in the emergency aisle
(we gave the verbal ‘yes’ that we were ‘willing, able and qualified’)
while the “Big Miracle” plays
silently
on a small screen

In LAX at 4am
we walk past the posting
‘NO RETURN BEYOND THIS POINT’

Muhammad rents us our car
and on the LA Freeway
I see the Bohemian’s face
for the first time
in new terrain
outside the Kauai bubble
where we met

he looks different
and the same
on fresh soil
or should I say
cement

It’s half price omelette
at the Omelette Parlor
with free coffee refills
and Journey
singing
‘Don’t Stop Believin’

7am and we’re walking down Venice Beach boardwalk
there’s a rising stir
of well-dressed joggers
and dingy fringe-dwellers
Starbucks restrooms are for customers only
an Alphonse Mucha painting offers tarot readings
graffiti reminds
‘the Universe is by your side’
the doors to ‘Ray’s Freak Show’ are closed
the beach bathroom has shit by the wall
and the dolphins are jumping
just off the coast in the distance

we walk down to the water’s edge
almost alone in a city of five million
we find peace
in the hush of hissing waves
settle down in sand
and take a short snooze

an hour later
and worlds away
we follow a friend
to the Shrine
sit quietly amongst
saintly turtles
endless roses
waterfalls
enlightened masters
“be still and know that I am god”

a stranger and I stand
at the ‘spiritual wishing well’
but today the well is dry
when he inquires
as to where he can make a wish
he is directed right back
to the waterless well
where the woman says
“I guess you need to seed it”
he throws in a nickel
I throw in a dime

all before 11am
Day 1 in California

photos Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

 

 

One thought on “Day One in California

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