Monday, October 26, 2009
The universe still exists. You're welcome.
This girl barely came up to my knee. I wouldn't try this even if you put me in a suit of armor first.
We had our first visitors this week – our friend Chihiro, from Amynah’s former lab, and Brigitte, her former boss. Brigitte didn’t stay with us, but as she has many scientific collaborators here in California, she spends a month here every year to touch base and recharge her batteries.
On Saturday, she took us to Venice Beach, where we were hoping to gawk at the assembled freaks. Amynah, in particular, was hoping to go to Muscle Beach, haven for those whose anatomy requires topographic maps to describe. Sadly, the temperatures were just cool enough that most of them were flexing to keep warm in their gyms, with the exception of one barrel-chested guy in roller-skates and a Star-Spangled speedo, whose intimidating scowl was considerably undercut by the fact that he was holding a radio blasting Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely.
The Venice Beach boardwalk is a circus of jewelry sellers, noxious clouds of incense, medical marijuana dispensaries, and street performers of unreliable quality. There’s a skateboard park, where we watches a serious four year old girl whip around an empty pool like she was born with wheels on her feet. I would have been jealous, but while it seemed effortless, her expression made it look like she’d rather be doing her taxes.
At one point, we all sat near the water’s edge, watching sailboats in the distance. As we chatted, a pair of girls in bikinis came in our direction. One stood in the water, the other got ready to take her picture: as a wave came in, the girl in the water jumped up, kicking up her heels and putting on her “laughing” face – striking the kind of pose you see in fashion magazines when they’re trying to capture “carefree youth.”
It was one of the more “meta” moments I’d ever witnessed: they weren’t having fun – they were playing at having fun, mimicking photos of people pretending to have fun. I would have taken a picture of them taking a picture of something they’d seen in a picture, but I was afraid the paradox would cause the universe to collapse in on itself. Plus, I didn’t want to look like a pervert.