Monday, October 27, 2008

Highlights of 2,053rd week on Earth

Tuesday: Driving north on Garey Ave, I saw a group of giggling young women holding cardboard signs on two different street corners. I assumed it was for a car wash, until I passed and read DONATION FOR FUNERAL. I thought about pulling over, donating whatever change I could find in the car's ashtray and getting a good photo, but this seemed exploitative, so I kept driving. Later that afternoon, at the thrift store, the universe rewarded my good behavior with this;

Long Beach Aquarium: are the seals a graceful affirmation of all that is precious and wondrous with life on Earth? Or does their carefree swooping simply mock our failing economy and tedious human existence?

And why are all the rocks in their tank shaped like human breasts?

I discovered this pile of human hair - a surprisingly hard subject to photograph with a cell phone - last February, in front of a business called "Robert Michael's Salon" in Claremont, just a few doors down from my mail place. If I'd still lived in Jersey City, I'd have assumed this was SanterĂ­a-related. Being the west coast, it was probably just an innocent error at the end of a long day saloning hair. There were bits of cat litter mixed in with the furry lump, so I'm guessing someone swept up, got distracted, and somehow left the sweepings on the low brick wall directly by the front door, as if to greet passers by.

On Wednesday, I was walking down the street to get my mail when I saw a middle aged man emerge from this same salon. It could only have been Mr. Michael. He seemed to take in the beautiful autumn afternoon with real pleasure. As I passed, I realized it was a little creepy that I knew one small disturbing detail about his business that even he was unaware of.

Remember the old days, when the guys with the crazy signs and upside down flags on their cars weren't Republicans?

postscript: 5 months later, I finally saw this car's owner. But instead of the balding, white-knuckle accounts-receivable type I'd pictured, it was a 6' 5" black dude with Afrika Bambaataa glasses and the whackadoodle air of a machete assassin. Ultimate letdown.