Sunday, January 11, 2009

Old Cowtown

Went running. Not unusual in and of itself, unless one counts the fact that I wasn’t feeling it, what with the stress of not packing and all. But that isn’t the point of this post.

While running, faulty streetlights flickering unreliably above me, I watched the moon, level with the streetlights, but quadruple the size, as it was low enough yet to be level with the streetlights. An eerie, butter-from-cows-not-vegetables yellow that cast enough light to negate the streetlights, which weren’t much help anyway, being as unreliable as they were.

It hits me then, Old Chino, Cowtown, carefully carried on the warm, pungent breeze, enveloping me like a hug from a longtime friend. Breeze coming from the east, you see, from the edges of the city where the dairy farms have been vanquished out to, a dragon.

It reminds me of my last last days in Chino, sitting atop a horse atop a hill, overlooking the heart of the valley, looking as it would if I were looking from a plane passing over head. Black, with only the patterns of streetlights (and houselights and car lights) to distinguish anything. I’d never seen home like that, not in my fifteen years here. I could pick out areas by the lights. Parks. Schools. Some things have changed. Most of the cows are gone. The city’s rep hasn’t, though, as seen from the outside. People from the outside hear about the three prisons and run…

Ran past a dairy farm the other day and didn’t notice. True SoCali here, not to notice a smell that would up the breakfast of weak stomachs—that of a few hundred brown-covered black-and-white cows on a bleak, muddy smudge going about their business of making milk and more cows. It made me happy, though, unexpectedly reuniting with one facet of my home. Old cowtown will always be my home.

My suitcase now contains a towel. Pathetic, one may say. What one doesn’t realize is how much progress this actually is. A few less battered brown boxes in the room.

I leave for London in two days.

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