Clearing the breakfast dishes yesterday the mounted Coca Cola crate nailed above the table catches my eye. I inspect a small plastic bubble that nests there. ItŐs the kind expelled from vending machines baring such fare as copper rings, plastic key chains, and temporary tattoos. This one however, sent by a friend soon after his move from New York to Miami, contains a map scrap and the word DISPLACEMENT typed across a conveniently sea blue clip of paper. Thinking back to its arrival, displacement seems an odd word to describe a return home. A return anticipated and awaited almost since first arrival in New York. A case, I suppose, of that old Thomas Wolff adage, You Can't Go Home Again.
In LA just before Christmas, my brother and I crossing Mulholland stop short as a coyote dashes through our headlights, a fresh kill dangling from its mouth. After comments of surprise not so much at the coyote as the kill, Graham recites expertly from Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero, "on some nights, late, I've been driving across Mulholland and have had to swerve and stop suddenly and in the glare of headlights I've seen coyotes running slowly through the fog with red rags in their mouths and it's only when I come home that I realize that the red rag is a cat. It's something one must live with if you live in the hills." Seemingly out of the blue, it nods to an earlier discussion of Less Than Zero being an '80s adaption, an imitation even, of Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays. This is my argument, he doesnŐt agree, being mired in arid LA teen angst. Oh, disappear here, I almost say half-heartedly, thinking that perhaps Ellis rings true on the part about teenagehood being akin to hearing coyotes in the hills from your bedroom window, their call undeniable as the slippage of years.
At thirty-thousand feet the half twilight that is eastward air travel rouses an often uneasy conscience of what could ubiquitously be considered modern living. The bird's eye perspective/speed allowing a passenger in the plane's interior to hover somewhere just West of a morning well under way, visible for hours on the horizon. I am in transit to Sweden. My seat mate has a cold.
Brooklyn,New York 2000