Life is a slow ride, we hold on in whichever fashion best suits us.
1:57am: Santa Monica Mountains. We spotted three bicyclists making their way down the road. We were on the ridge looking down on them. Their lights shone coming down the hill, snaking over the Sepulveda Pass, their glow an eerie illusion. What were they doing out at this witching hour? We promptly declared them as crazy as us and went back to watching the heavens and telling jokes.
We’re were up there to watch the meteor shower, higher than the Getty Center. L.A. spread out to our right, the Valley to our left.
2:12 am: I kept missing the meteors because I was in a trance, dumbstruck, by the millions of lights washing across the basin of L.A like an electric sea. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the spectacular sight. The other guys kept exclaiming when a streak flashed through the sky and I’d jerk my head upwards but always too late.
The city was my show. I wondered if there were more lights or people out there, and what everyone was doing in the dark.
We are all connected by rococo radio waves and leering ballerinas.
2:24am: My friend Felix heard something rustling in the bushes and began chucking stones into the thicket, trying to scare whatever animal disturbed the leaves. I vocally expressed that I wished the creature would pop out and maul him, and even though that would mean I would have to leap into the scrap to help him, this feeling was sincere.
I mean, I hoped he’d survive and all…
Does that make me a bad guy?
I mean, I also hope for great things to happen to my friend, too, and everyone I love. I hope for peace and happiness and riches and love for all, but sometimes I’m a little selfish, and right then I was hoping for a cougar attack, or maybe just a crazy-bold chipmunk to jump on his face.
2:52am: Conversation and chit chat flowed freely. We imagined what the Chumash did in these hills. Did they have prized hunting trails through here? Did they tell stories of how the Spotted Woodpecker survived the flood by nourishing on the acorns the Sun God tossed him? Could they imagine what this land would look like three hundred years later?
We also rapped about the L.A. river and how nobody in this city thinks it’s a natural body of water. Only Tinseltown can take a real river and have everyone believing it’s fake.
We talked to kill the silence. It’s what humans do.
3:13am: We were up there for two hours and had seen a half dozen shooting stars. The ocean layer was starting to blur out the horizons. The lights of the city were bright as ever. After awhile we became bored with the stars and pondered what we were doing up on the mountain. We downed the last of our Pabst without fanfare, efficiently.
We poured the backwash out on the ground and crushed the cans, depositing them in a backpack to bring back with us. We may be half-crazy, bohemian trespassers but we’re not litterbugs.
3:22am: The air was cold. The wind chilled our bones. We traveled the dirt road back to my car and then quickly cruised down the steep hill, reminiscing on a mutual friend who used to drive up and down this hill for fun, his own private roller coaster.
So many friends come and go we struggle to remember their names. Was it Jason? Brad? Bruce?
3:33am: We reached the bottom and waited for what we thought at first was a motorcycle, having only one, lonesome headlight; but as it slowly approached we decided it must be a scooter for the speed it was crawling; eventually the light turned into a figure and we realized it was the first bicyclist trudging uphill, his buddies not more than fifty yards behind him.
All three had big, gleaming smiles on their faces like what they were doing was fun. I let them pass, respecting their quixotic mission.
We are all alone on our bicycles, mine’s just flashier than yours.