Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Pacific Grove is an early 21st century version of Proust's Balbec. Seaside Victorian homes, bed n' breakfast hotels, overpriced restaurants . . . granted, Balbec is much more than that, but this place was so unbearably clean that I longed for my little L.A. street with its graffiti and abandoned furniture. There were, however, a few interesting things to be found there:

A monkey puzzle tree, so-called because it's so prickly monkeys can't figure out how to climb it. I just love that name. Monkey Puzzle Tree.

A man who walks his cat every day on a leash -- not quite a lobster but still not a dog.

A man in his mid-50s who still lives with his mother. Every day she would watch him off to work. In the evening she would stand at the window a few minutes before he returned home. Their home was directly across the street from the house I was staying in. My stepdad took to calling him "Norman Bates," but they just seemed sweet to me.

At least I was able to make it over to Santa Cruz which has two of the best bookstores in the world, Logos and the Literary Guillotine.

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