17. May 2011 here now 1
I sit in a visual studies conference and listen to smart people discuss Hitchcock and I think about the Rapture. “This paper does not address the deep irrationality of private life.” I got an invitation to post-Rapture looting on Facebook. As in, looting on May 21 after the chosen get taken. I’ll be there! I got this invitation, weirdly, after spending an hour on the road driving in traffic and thinking about The Rapture. That’s right. After. Coincidence? Or sign? When I drove to Irvine this morning, traffic slowed from 78 to 24 at a moment of transition in the storm, sun to rain, the way we do around here. I was at the bottom of a rise. The tires raised a cloud of steam. There was fog and the clouds were low. It looked like the cars were fading into the weather at the top of the hill, eaten by the storm. I thought, this is how The Rapture will go down in Los Angeles. Commuters snapped up into the air on the 405. Just a slight hiss. While I was in the car, the radio told me: Watermelons are exploding in China. The farmers are pumping them full of the plant equivalent of growth hormones. And they’re exploding. Hundreds of them. “Like landmines” was the quote from a Chinese farmer. When I was a senior in high school, I was cast in a play at UC Berkeley. I played a young girl who had her head smashed in by a serial killer. I lay down behind a black wooden box that was supposed to represent a rock on the moors. The director and actor who played the serial killer, a cadaverous smoker, said psychotic and lecherous things to me. Raised an axe. Brought it down on a watermelon, hidden by the box. I remember he wanted me to stop going to rehearsals for my own high school play so that I could better play his victim. I took my bows covered in watermelon gore. In traffic, I think about the speed that rind must travel to penetrate bone, about my Prius like a Chinese watermelon, exploding in the Rapture, on a rise just before Pacific Ave.