Surrealist Sidewalk: Driving Edition

The first instruction is to hit play on the above video. There are no graphics to distract you, only the music and Francisca Valenzuela holding a hawk.

Now the scene is set.

I was driving through the Los Angeles suburbs, which are Los Angeles in of themselves, since the sprawl never really starts or stops. I had just dropped my dad off from the airport. I pulled off the freeway and stood waiting at the light. Francisca Valenzuela’s “Buen Soldado” was playing on the radio.

I was eager to get off after someone in a beige Mercedes almost sideswiped me when I was in the fast lane. It was 10 am. Chances were they could be drunk.

My poor Ford Taurus wagon vibrated as it waited at the light. I wished it was revving, but it’s re-imagined engine was 16 years old, too old to be having that fantasies.

The sun beat down, against the long minutes of the light. I saw a flash of red.

It was Bill Murray in jogging shorts.

No, not really. But it’s LA, so let’s have some imagination.

It was an older man in red shorts and a white beard. He ran in circles in his one spot on the sidewalk. He ran around and around. Enough times to make me worried.

Him and the drunk Mercedes driver.

But maybe his circular running made some sense. The engine hummed. The light turned green.

I made a lovely arc with the car as I made a left turn onto another street and saw a bulldozer ahead.

It was like being back in Scotland where they seemed to be more tractors than cars on the roads.


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