Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Night of the dinosaurs

When I was in high school my friends and I used to go up to Mulholland Drive to look at the lights of Los Angeles at night. From an overlook on the spine of the Santa Monica mountains, you could see the entire L.A. basin and trace with your eye the freeways, the grand boulevards, the glittering skyscrapers of downtown.

One night up on Mulholland I had a vision: The city became an ocean writhing with dinosaurs, their long necks twisting up out of the sea and plunging back in, creating towering waves of light. They thrashed and flailed, the angry ghosts of our fossil fuels. Then, one by one, their serpentine necks sank beneath the water and the lights began to glint and sparkle, an ordinary city again. I didn't go back to Mulholland after that. I had seen what was waiting in the darkness beneath the dazzling surface, and I could never trust Los Angeles again.

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