Monday, August 11, 2014

Full moon on the bluffs

I remember a few nights on the Wasco run when the full moon really brought out the oddness. Today’s midnight stroll along the bluffs brought me back to the idea of the full moon releasing the hounds of oddness. I take these walks ostensibly to keep my blood sugar down. A little weirdness is just a bonus.

For 10 years I left for work at midnight. Most days I’d turn left from River onto Panorama. I guess it was more than a year ago that the sheriff’s deputies would be there running off some cars doing a 5-O on others, all the doors open, red lights flashing, “suspects” sitting on the curb.  For a while a tow truck would be lurking nearby. Panorama Park closes at 10 P.M. goddamnit, and that’s the law they decided to enforce. Until lately it seems. Either the constabulary was struck with some human logic that allowing people a place to peacefully assemble for free after dark means they are less likely to resort to mischief. Or the rich folk that live on Panorama that complained enough to force the daily rout were over shouted by the rich folk that didn’t like the disruption. Whatever the case I park my car across the street next to the cemetery just in case they start towing cars again. I know, my house is only half a mile down from the bluffs but, sigh, that walk is boring. I’m only good for half a mile anyway.

This summer the park is busy. Almost all latino, mostly couples sitting on benches having pleasantness. I been there to walk as late/early as 3 A.M. and there are people there. Next to being on the banks of the Kern River far below it is the coolest spot in town.

Tonight was odd, as I have indicated. 3 or 4 clusters of young men were present. Teenagers I assume. One guy had a loud audio device but developed some respect and I didn’t hear it after a short time. There is a paved path from end to end of the park. At one place the distance from the road to the edge is only 20 feet or less. Flashlights are rare at the park anyway tonight the moon was bright so really not needed at all. Just as I pass the narrow spot three young guys suddenly appear coming up the bluff onto the path.  It wants to be a moment for glances and facial expressions but whole body language is all that is visible. The sounds they made were of exhilaration.

My attention is split between the latest discworld audiobook on the headphones, the sights and sounds of the park and people and an eye out for potholes. I approach the deepest point between gullies that used to have a parking lot where I took a girl or two back in the day. It is planted with beds of plants and trees now. The only flashlight of the night is darting all around a cluster of palms. Two big dogs are prancing around the flashlight man and the places his light is pointing. One has a green LED on his collar the other has orange. Pit bulls I assume from the general shape, and this is Bakersfield. Whatever he is searching for continues to one of the beds of clumpy plants. Then they are off in another direction. As the trail winds out near the edge of that biggest point I noticed that I am alone. The path leads back towards the road to accommodate another gully and back out again. I’m past by two more teen boys being boisterous. The kind a guy my age is suppose to fear but pfh.

I’m sweating a little. Time to turn back. At the point I thought was deserted moments before I see a person standing at the edge looking out. Another is near a big bush. I see fewer people on the rest of the way back.

Not that much oddness after all. Certainly more than usual though.