Chandler on the Beach
He was walking here, I can almost hear his steps. A troubled, unhappy British scholar, a fake Brit. A parvenu American, a closeted gay, a mom-dependent womaniser, and a pulp fiction icon.
Raymond Chandler walked the beach of La Jolla, shopped in sleazy drink joints with names like “Dick’s Liquor,”and vomited all over the weedy decaying sea-grass. The noir of rich and flakey Californians: their big white dentist smiles, public warnings don’t do this don’t do that, sneering everywhere.
Police roundabouts, corrupted muscled uniforms, blonde invasive babes with prices in their rolling eyes. And then, finally, the Pacific sunsets, preposterous, relentless, eternal, punctual and unavoidable as death. Emotionally nerve wracking, sunsets that make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
The grey cruel infinity of the Pacific, with its fat whales, malodorous seals, murderous sharks, rapacious seagulls, ugly pelicans: a sea world unafraid of humans or material decay.
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