I am in Huntington Beach, California and thus California Dreaming. Or at least living the dream that is Orange County—a bastion of white, Hispanic, and Vietnamese wealth, power, and privilege. The Bentley now stands outside the small townhouse where once (fifteen years ago) there stood a cheap American car driven by old people, now dead. The hue of colors at the pier is vast–although, thankfully, there are still young ladies in bikinis (of all hue) on roller-blades bedecking the streets. As my son once said: “Dad, no man should be enabled to fall in love so often during a mere walk down the street.”
The people are still conservative and reactionary. The man with prostate cancer who is without a job and subsists on charity said to me over cigars: “I won’t pay Obama-care for people who do not work.”
He has not worked in years; he subsists on unemployment insurance & hand-outs from friends, including my son-in-law, a school friend. He rides his Harley to great noise. He cleans garages and paints the boats moored in the many marinas, and generally is happy for his son and two daughters who subsist by means he will not discuss.
The Republican who had to sell the apartment in Newport Beach to pay taxes admits the Republicans have lost their way: “My daughter is back living with us and drawing the great American comic book. Her gay friends are now all married and she is without community as of yore.”
The grandchildren now both go to karate and kick high & fierce. The ex-wife drives a Honda Pilot and sells designer jewelry of non-blood diamonds. New Priuses drape the driveway. High-end eating places serve large helpings of over-spiced food to fat people. The local bike store sports $6,000 road bikes that I desire and lust after with passion. My grandson and I spent happy hours examining these bikes and dreaming.
Mining is obviously a topic with those I dinnered with. We work internationally and bemoaned politics in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. We shook our heads in sympathy with a mining lawyer grown old & incompetent–his Chinese clients must now seek elsewhere for legal advice on opening mines in California. We fondly recollected his late wife, a mining landsman. She died so young and vigorous. “Remember that last meal in the Italian place in Dana Point?”
I could go on thus forever; but why? So here are a few pictures of this land so near and yet so far.