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April 11th, 2003

palo verde trees

Phoenix sits mid-desert, ringed by mountains. I ride the elevator in the Hyatt, looking out the glass window at mist across a horizon of houses leading to those mountains. Priceline managed to secure me the room at the Hyatt inexpensively, but when I walked back from the copy shop at dawn, the fellow was putting newspapers outside people's rooms. I didn't get one--maybe only "frequent stayers" get to read.

I sat last night at a Pizzeria Uno in one of those "nice downtown artsy shopping plazas", in which the clientele was outnumbered by the service staff. I looked in a shop full of tourist memorabilia, mostly brightly colored folk art from the southwest and Mexico; it's always chic to knock anything tourist as inauthentic, but I rather liked the sense of being in a sea of colors.

This morning, as I walked in the dawnish air, green palo verde trees, a few still finishing with the last of their yellow blooms, served as havens for choruses of singing birds. It was an Italian movie moment, walking alone, in a wispy half-light, in a desert downtown, while songbirds sang from gnarled trees.

Another day of business today, and then home again. I am eager for the weekend.

Flight night

I catch one of those flights in a few moments that will put me into Dallas at 11:30 p.m. I've finished my book and my magazine; I hope the airport bookstore has something to stave off boredom. I'm a bit weary, although today was a simple deposition, followed by a nice late lunch at a Japanese buffet. I'm ready for another weekend; I feel as though I earned one.

On the way to the airport, I see desert plants, but many of them are desert plants which belong in parts of the desert other than Phoenix's part of the desert. Nobody can just be who they are; everyone must meet an image. I see in my mind a range of palms, setting off into the sunset, denoting where Los Angeles begins and fictions stretches to infinity.