Sunday, April 27, 2014

evil under the sun

If you live in or anywhere near the desert, the place I'm going to describe is close to you -- closer than you may think.

This, I remember, happened at Spa, for it was not one of the Marienbad years. It was at the end of a particularly long, varied, & stressful day, during which we spent an hour or so with a couple saints of the desert. Afterward, we were disappointed to discover our usual lodging had no place suitable for us. So we moved on to the next place down the street, and looked for the office door.

The name on the blue sign, "Honda Resort and Spa," might have been either Spanish or Japanese, and the decor of the place, 20th-century outer space, offered no clue. And where was the office, anyway? Twice around the building we drove, and finally parked on the west side, in an empty lot, and stared up at a three-storey wall pierced with dark windows. For reasons I don't understand, the unrestrained monotony of that pale green and extraordinarily flat and bland surface, glimpsed in rapidly disappearing twilight, gave the impression of  concealing indescribable rage and violence. One window in the top row was missing its glass; the unmistakable sheen of plastic was a tell-tale sign, of a human body either flung from that height, or jumping to escape the violence within, and sustaining mortal injury when it struck the broken pavement below.

Despite our feelings of dread, we continued searching, and at last came upon what appeared to be the front door of the place. After parking, we approached it and saw another human, a tall, slender, immaculately coiffed older American man talking earnestly on a cell phone. His conversation was
business jibberish, having to do with purchase orders, some canceled, and some still apparently valid.

We peered into the windows of what may have been the lobby. Chairs and other furniture were promiscuously heaped along the window wall, and the door was locked. At the far end of the long room an old man was shooting pool. He seemed to take the same shot, over and over, from the same position at the end of the table. He'd shoot, then stand up, walk toward the other end of the table, which was obscured by a partition, then reappear magically at the visible end of the table and take the same shot again. It was like watching a videotape loop.

"Seven four three six eight seven seven zero zero one eight nine," said the guy with the phone. The old man shot.

I was overcome with fear then. The tremendous evil that had been done in this place, and that which was yet to be done, was settling all around us, piling up in thick layers. I had the feeling we were being watched. I quit rattling the locked door and urged my partner to hurry back to our vehicle.

The desert is huge and empty, and there's lots of room for bodies in the Indio Hills. The Ukraine is halfway round the world, but its fascist rulers have long tentacles. Fascism is invariably a form of gangsterism -- I've never seen it any other way. But that's enough from me. It would be wrong to speak of those things which are truly unspeakable.

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