Susan and I made good on vague plans suggested a couple weeks ago to forego our usual Saturday-morning porch time and get ourselves over to Griffith Park for a near-sunrise hike from the Observatory up to the top of Mt. Hollywood.
It was my first time on pretty much any of GP’s trails since the devastating fire back in May of 2007, a disaster that part of me is sorry I missed experiencing first hand, but a larger part of me is glad I was far away on a ship somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea as it happened (but I must say it was odd learning about my virtual playground going up in smoke while floating about so far removed some 6,000 miles away).
I literally could not bring myself to visit the burned areas in the ensuing years because the park is so close to my heart and I knew if I got up close to all the damage I’d risk breaking down in tears — or at the very least walking through the denuded areas shaking my head so incessantly I would appear to have the most severe case of Parkinson’s ever. I even had trouble looking at pictures of the park in the fire’s aftermath.
So yesterday was my first day in it. And while I still despaired at the lingering evidence all around me, I was heartened at the recovery taking place — bolstered no doubt by this past week’s storms.
But the worst reminder was the pocket to the west of Mt. Hollywood’s summit known as Captain’s Roost, which prior to the fire was a wonderful oasis, but now stands done-in and still waiting any kind of organized attempt to restore it to its former glory.
Whereas the breezes used to blow overhead through the boughs of towering eucapytpus and other trees, those are all gone now but for their charred stumps, leaving little more than a promenade of palms — trunks blackened but surviving.
Among the many things carved into them by representatives of the legion of mouth-breathing cretins compelled to furtively leave definitive evidence of their inbred stupidity, I found one to be the most laughably ridiculous of the bunch: a peace sign.
Given how wordy I’m known to be, I could of course go on and on and on seething about the irony of using a living thing as a canvas upon which to destructively carve such a hopeful symbol, but instead I’ll convey how incensed it made me via the fragment of a dream I had sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, one clearly influenced by having watched “Inglourious Basterds” earlier that evening.
In it I was walking along the fire road above the Roost, shaking my head in despair when I found the culprit in the act of immortalizing his idiocy. Though it seemed as if the dream started with me empty handed, when I looked down I had a baseball bat in my left, and a giant knife in my right.
I did nothing stealthy in my approach because the young man turned, saw me and simply went back to it as if either he was entitled to do or my walking in a park with a bat and a monster knife was nothing out of the ordinary, so I just walked casually down to a place directly behind him and watched as he continued, the bat resting on my shoulder, the grip on the knife loose.
My guess is he thought I was admiring his work, or at least up until the violence began. But unlike Quentin Tarantino I’ll leave what happened next up to your imagination — other than to say that what I did with the weapons distinctly mirrored their most horrible uses in his movie.