The Blast-Off to Mugu Beach

People are walking fast, then slow, then there are tourists who don’t seem to be walking at all. The buildings that surround the street like a canyon are all flashing bright signs that move and wiggle causing even the most dedicated foot watcher to look up every so often in the anticipation of some pepsi can falling on their head. Looking down 7th avenue, the giant buildings crowd themselves to the sides of the street for what looks like miles, giving the impression that my tiny body is as significant and fragile as an ant; passing along like the other ants in a desperate rush for food, water, and a place to shit. 

There are moments, however, that I look up at the sky instead of the din of mid-town and see the sunset. The bright gold of the sun splashing across the windows and glinting its way down to street level. The light is so bright, that even the neon billboards are paled in comparison: muted in a reverence to the holy light of nature. The sky becomes purple, pink, crimson, and orange; and the dark spires of the tall sky-scrapers are lit up by the spectacle, looking more like a work of art by contrast than the scary spikes of a pig pen. 

It is in these moments that I wish I could somehow plant jet packs to the bottom of my feet and blast off of the face of the earth and follow the sun. I imagine myself pushing a button and growing the jet packs, then looking around in distaste at all that is around me, before crouching into a jump position and, within seconds, I’m atmosphere bound. The earth would fall away from my feet like I was scrolling off a page in google earth. I’d watch as where I had once been becomes small and the sun rises from the horizon to greet me, and then I’d turn west. 

Last night I sat on Mugu beach outside Los Angeles and congratulated myself on a job well done. The earth had fallen away that day and I had left New York in perfect timing to see the sun rise over Manhattan, then set over the endless Pacific. Sitting still to the sound of the rocks being raked against the sand, the wet air from the ocean spray had made me chilly, so I was wrapped in a towel snacking on raw carrots and sugar snap peas and wondering how I got so lucky. 

September 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm by Natalie Allen