Memories In Sunset: The Los Angeles Letters Part I

Its a late September afternoon, but the summer heat remains relentless as it is recalcitrant. Like snakes composed of dry, arid air, it slips between the openings of my t-shirt, slithering, crawling over the contours, the indents of my skin that mask my ribs. Slowly, but gently it squeezes my pores for what ounces of sweat it can take before the sun must reach further with each day that passes to make room for the coming fall.

But no leaves fall upon the ground of Hollywood Boulevard in the fall. Just feet. The feet of tourists - as they drown the streets, the restaurants, and the shops beneath the white noise, the buzz of their voices drunk, deluded beyond wonder in a place many wonders, many dreams have died more than any drunken delusion that has been realized - and the shadows of the palm trees. That loom tall, but sickly and thin. Like they have been starved into an eating disorder like the models on the posters and the billboards that appear on the windows, and above the souvenir stores. At their feet, at their roots, sit those bereft of home, or anything that can shield them from the sun's consuming iris that bakes their faces in a tan of mud and orange. A mud and orange that does little to hide the remnants of sand and dust that cakes their cheeks, their brows. Even as they watch. Eyes tired of despair that despair tirelessly. Even as feet and shadows pass them by. Over stars flecked with gold that do not glow. But encircle names that have long since passed. To a place where no shadow has stretched, and all feet long to wander.

Elizabeth Taylor. Greta Garbo. Lucille Ball. Rita Hayworth. People drift between their names and countless others like the coming and going of moths towards the glow of each new light. A light once as bright as that which flashes from phones and digital cameras. Flashing stars and names onto Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Until no account - of a name and the flashes it once invited - is left for memory. All that is remembered is a passing. Of feet. Of shadows. Into restaurants, into shops, and into streets. To join dreams deluded and drowned and dead. Past eyes tired of despair despairing tirelessly as they watch. From the feet of palms. Tall, but starved. By the heat of a relentless summer soon to fall.

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