|Subject: CALEB: San Diego
Sent: 07/25 5:06 AM
From: Caleb John Clark
To: NoEnd, noend@TAOS.CO
Driving out of LA for San Diego a guy, having seen Ellen’s license plate, pulls up next to us laughing and says, “New Hampshire? No one lives in New Hampshire!” So we laugh too. Those crazy friendly Californians.
We make it to Encinitas, a small surf town just North of San Diego proper, we stopped to swim in the warm ocean and let the waves crash down and message our car stiff bodies. Then we hit John’s house by 5pm. I’ve been in contact with John weekly ever since we were 8.
“I used to want to take over the known universe,” John tells me upon arrival, “now I just want my kids to go to college and to die with all my teeth.” John has a family.
They are: John, a big bear of a carpenter/geek; his beautiful and always smiling partner Leslie, their 12 year old California woman in training Elise, and the current star of the family, the 2.5 year old Jake, possibly the happiest sentient on the planet.
We took that family to the beach the next day, and now know why armies take so long to move. Ellen and I bogey boarded in the bathtub warm pacific all day.
Shopping in Tiajuana the next day was LIKE a visit to another country, but not quite. We made it out bowels and wallets intact, and Ellen got some nice pots, masks and Leslie bought a real guitar for Jake (he likes to dance and play air guitar when his dad plays the drums.)
Watching the Olympics with a family somehow only added to the events ability to make me choke up and almost cry at least once a hour.
It was a truly special privilege to live with a healthy family for a few days. Jake’s constant smiles and laughs are no accident, his parents and sisters bathe him with good love daily and the trials and tribulations of the family life around him are handled with insight I can only hope for.
Cruising into LA, taking five lane corners at 80mph next to tandem trucks going 81mph (LA driving is like one big race. Going to the store effectively requires competitive spirit, practice, a well tuned car and precisely placed mirrors.) I was confronted with the smog layer a low lying static storm of tiny water droplets dipped in a soup of our machine’s excrement. It’s an ugly sight. Good thing is that once you’re under it, it’s harder to see.
Took off out of Burbank, a very workable airport. Boarding the plane by stair the women behind looked at the city and said, “good bye LA smog” I joined her, but also added a good bye to all the good things this city has to offer.