Oct 1, 2011

On the canyon

Los Angeles is much like Mumbai, a city of contrasts, where showbiz and glamour exist alongside illegal mexican  workers, where the seediness of the city's underbelly is only matched by that found inside the homes of big stars and studio executives. To find a house in this urban jungle that one could look forward to returning to at the end of a long day, was a prize fit for the kings.

The house was a simple split structure, with creme exteriors and dark pinewood. The living room, kitchen and study covered the bottom floor, while the top floor housed the 2 bedrooms and a hanging patio. It's beauty was its location. To come to it, you'd have to take the  long, winding road that hugged Mullholland drive, its  narrow streets curving along a world of corvettes and mustangs and people who sunbathed in the Bahamas. The road eventually gave way to a deep gorge that stood like a huge bowl amid the gorgeous mountains of LA.

It was a small house that stood on the lip of the canyon which he shared with the red-tailed eagles, coyotes, deer, skunks, possums and rattlesnakes. Frankly, he minded the skunk far more than the rattlesnake. More rural than possible in LA, coming home always felt like healing, a place of refuge where he could forget for a few hours the unnaturalness, the sickness that marked his daily life.

His favourite place in the house was the deck - he had invested nearly as much in it as people did in the best master bedrooms. It had a Braun barbecue grill, the floor a deep reddish wood which was 100% stain free, the best Yamo sound-deck was fitted over the small bamboo cane chair that hung on the western side of the deck. To stand at the deck and watch the sun going down behind the mountains, was a sight to die for; to stand by it at night and hear the animals in the canyon below perk up for their nocturnal activities, was to understand habit and ritual; to practice his yoga on its polished wooden surface as the sun broke out at 7 am in the summers, made it easier to bear the loneliness that was now his life.

Today was not an easy day. To even imagine that he'd made such a big error which had led to the tragedy, was a nightmare that he wouldn't wish on anyone. He took a bottle of Budweiser out of the fridge and stood sipping it at the deck. A coyote cried out into the distance and something rustled in the shrubs below. Must be dinner time. His stomach rumbled and he remembered he'd not eaten anything since breakfast. He was still standing at the deck listening to the winds rustling the tree tops when the phone rang, and her quiet voice came on the speaker phone from 2000 miles away.

He immediately felt better, felt at peace.

Is this my favourite policeman?

Hi, how're you doing?

I know you're not doing so fine. Talk to me. Sunny called.

Sunny called you?

He said you could use some kick-ass conversation.

Silence.

Now will you tell me about the victims or will you?

There wasn't much he could deny her anyway; he told her the whole sordid story.

Listen to me. Are you listening?

Yes.

Even if the worst is true, what happened is not your fault. You acted on the evidence, you were only doing your job. And no one does it better than you. ok? If this terrible thing is true, do you know what you will do?

He nodded but didn't answer.

You will man up and do what needs to be done now. You will get to the bottom of this. I will personally fly out and hold you? Dyu hear me?

You're holding me now, baby.

I'm not finished. Have you been drinking?

I miss you.

Shuttup and listen. I want you to listen to me.

I'm listening.
He was hanging on to her every word.

Now, gimme an Adam Sandler dialogue.

C'mon! Not now.

She raised her voice.
Say something funny!

Something funny.

Bad one. Try again.
She snorted.

I love you.

Only as a friend. ok?

Can't I see you?
He prayed silently.

We've been over this before. I will always be your best friend. I need to run now. Call me.

Call you what?

She smiled, he knew from 2000 miles away that she was smiling. Then her voice came on again - as soft and gentle as always.

You are the best. Dont you ever forget that. Dont you ever let me down. Bye.

****

6 comments:

vaidegi j said...

:) Wow! breathtaking!

hmmm...can expect more such?

drift wood said...

V:

Thanks. Sure, will try. :)

Anonymous said...

You got me riveted. Please, some more. Quick!

mh

drift wood said...

mh:

You were missing?

You know this has been tagged under 'After a few', so you know when the next installment should be. :)

Shoumitro said...

And you say you don't haver imagination?!!!

drift wood said...

S:

C'mon...this isn't imagination. That would be Abol Tabol or Ho Jo Bo Do Lo. Tai na? :)