book of days serial #17

Real and false were fused here so perfectly that they became a new substance, just as copper and zinc become brass that looks like gold. It meant nothing to him that LA was filled with great musicians, poets and philosophers. It was also filled with spiritualists, religious nuts and swindlers. It devoured everyone, and whoever was unable to save himself in time, would lose his identity, whether he thought so himself or not.

His nose flared with Los Angeles before he even got to it. It smelled stale and old like a living room that had been closed too long. His living room smelled like a furniture store that had been out of business for decades. But the colored lights in the basin fooled the motorists. The lights were rich and fiery. Nothing outside of Bosch’s inferno had their protean rapture. There was a monument in the desert south south west of Las Vegas to the man who invented neon lights. It was fifteen stories high, unlit, solid marble.

Night. She came home, fled straight through the house to the kitchen and drank standing, immobilized. She took long swallows and felt the flavor taunt her mouth, her throat and rigid knees. Apparently none of the neighbors were at home so she could drink in silence. She slouched back through the house and sat on the red futon. She kept one light on. She did not own a television and did not turn on music. This was the silence she drove herself through the day for. She stared intently at the painting that was on the will eight feet in front of her. It was less a painting than a color swatch. It was a store-bought canvas filled with one color. Green. She stared as though she were trying to find things dancing in it, things she could hear by the way she turned, but eventually looked down, troubled. She stared blankly at her less enigmatic knees and finished her drink.

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