We walked up the hill and talked about shoes. I was breathing hard instantly. I thought about how the insides of my hips ached and how out of shape I was. After only two blocks, we could see the fogged-out half-bowl of Oakland and San Francisco that ran like a mossy covering into a cliff that’s the sea.
From between boxy houses with lines running into them – some for cable, some to hang clothes on, usually both – stopped to take pictures. The whole city was a graveyard of teeth and palm trees. It was a great shrine to people, a glistening rind whose sugary, pulpy remainders are designed to catch the most light. This place was designed around the sun, something to which people attribute judgment. People, even if they couldn’t be seen, were hanging out of windows, clogging the street, breathing in and breathing out the air until they had replaced it with themselves, hanging off of other people. People were hammering themselves into the mountains, wiring themselves to trees, embedding themselves into sandy hill that terminated into red mountains whose faces and freckling trees were the faces of people. The scooped out valley
was an epic shrine
And as people, people