Las casitas near the gray cannery, nestled amid wild abrazos of climbing roses and man-high red geraniums are gone now.The freeway conceals it all beneath a raised scar.
But under the fake windsounds of the open lanes, in the abandoned lots below, new grasses sprout, wild mustard remembers, old gardens come back stronger than they were, trees have been left standing in their yards. Albaricoqueros, cerezos, nogales … Viejitas come here with paper bags to gather greens. Espinaca, verdolagas, yerbabuena …
I scramble over the wire fence that would have kept me out. Once, I wanted out, wanted the rigid lanes to take me to a place without sun, without the smell of tomatoes burning on swing shift in the greasy summer air.
Maybe it’s here en los campos extraños de esta ciudad where I’ll find it, that part of me mown under like a corpse or a loose seed.
Peter Weir directed The Truman Show about a man who lived his whole life on telly and didn’t know about it. There’s a review of the film from New York Magazine that says people watch television for incident, emotion and rage, and don’t just sit down to watch an ordinary life of an ordinary man. After searching for the review, I found it and read it, and realized that the film critic got it wrong. Mind you this was written a decade ago, but it just made me think about how the times are so different and how absurdity has become reality. Who ever the film critic was, didn’t realize that The Truman Show was an early sketch of the future of television. If we were to check the TV Guide, nearly everything is about people’s ordinary life. Yes?