The wind is a blanket. The sun shines on the houses in the valley as if they were a floor of TVs. When it rains, trails turn into streams, and water trickles off ledges. A hawk spreads its yellow feathers. Clutching the straps to his backpack, He continues to the top, which is flat enough to land a helicopter. She looks at her feet as she follows in her old gym clothes. This is the perfect place for paint balling, he says, eyeing boulders stacked in human formations. Stinging nettle. Flowers like egg shells or spilled popcorn. Grass growing on verticals. She plants herself on a rock. Massive clouds sprawl like small towns: pollen-yellow, refrigerator-white, nightmare-green. Love, hate and water. Love and hate crash slopes, arrest fires, water the desert of southern California. Confusing high winds pushover semis, ensnare others in dust and clear the smog. Animals doing silly animal things seem to have an easy time getting around.
Josh Escobar is a contributor to the Weekender. Contact him at [email protected]