Lemon Song Dream
A tilted cityscape of mixed-era autos along the strand---filmic black and white Wrigley's Spearmint youthful carefree barbeque enjoyment of halcyon summers. Beach Nuts!
News warnings interspersed with temple gongs marking the hour. Trying to count out the seconds along with the analog second hand to see if the radio's accurate: "...one thousand and one, one thousand and two"...tick...tick...tick. Look up to see I'm in Wrong City. I was heading to Pasadena I'm sure. Or was I heading to Sears in Santa Monica?
The Streamline Moderne architectural splendor of Macy's is right around the corner, but when I turn it there is no Macy's. "Wha...?..should to be right...should be there. No wait. Could I be on the wrong corner? Gotta back-track. In my mental rewind, I'm back in "real" dream time, driving where I think I was. "I parked my car after turning at 4th Street, here, then went up to level 2 there then went downstairs and turned right (?) towards the beach which is aha right where it should be. And so where the hell is Macy's?
Out among the jostling crowd I bump into P, wife of R. She's no longer the standoffish woman I'd been put off by long ago. Now a toothy, smiley, gum-snapping friendliness full-of-charm and wide-eyed little girl self-assurance. She's some sort of store guide telling me about the marvels of Bullock's Department Store and "Don't you just love all the departments stacked up high like this? On the 3rd floor you can get girlie stuff (nudge nudge, wink wink) and on the 5th there's more manly stuff like tools and jock straps (wink wink, nudge nudge)."
A humongous shopping cart the size of a single family home piled high with every sort of vestment known to humanity---jolly baby jumpers, designer jeans, bundles of corporate t-shirts, endless Fruit-of-the-Looms (very soft and very fine cotton) More quarries filled with formal duds like waistcoats, tuxedos and ball gowns stacked up willy-nilly among overalls and yet more packages of 3-for-one socks. At the corners of the cart are teetering stacks of baseball caps forming pagoda-like spires (with big-headed sizes at the bottom and tiny heads at the top). Beautifully designed Asian labels from Bombay, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul grace the labels. I'm in awe of how much stuff humanity dishes up to itself. Creating. Composting. Cannibalizing.
Later I'm inside of Frank Ghery's Santa Monica car park looking through the metal grid out onto the sparkling beach tableaux. Each grid section frames a perfectly composed "seascape", forming a pattern of astonishing theme and variation---miniature masterpieces of shimmering spectral harmony.
I'm wondering where the hell I parked my car and what car it was---the Giulia?---the Blue Bug? A hot wind comes blasting through the mesh and I get shore sand in my eyes and am now getting swept back with all the cars towards another dream where a scratchy film loop of the Hindenburg is exploding again and again to the Lemon Song. I can see all the little people on fire running for their lives with that tragic zeppelin re-lighting itself like a trick birthday candle.