Mr Oculus


Mr Oculus

 

The tower was sleek and black and glistened in the sun and held the dreams and secrets of many children who had come into the lobby before me.

It was a New York skyscraper next to the freeway, a Yankee tower out of place and wearing all black in the summer in Los Angeles.

The courtyard was dark and cool and a perpetual breeze came in from the 101 and through the mountain pass freeway and through the Cahuenga natural pass.

The tower and studios were built on the side of the old El Camino Real road, on small hills where ghosts of the Spanish missionaries and before them the Indian tribes who had lived there since the ice age still tread.

Every now and then, artifacts are found at excavation sites and on million dollar property remodels left behind by the people who were there before them.

The causeway brought in fresh ocean air from West Los Angeles and then blew into the small pass between the valleys.

On the hotter days, the fresh and cool Santa Monica wind met with the dry and burnt chaparral Mediterranean smoke-smog air trying to escape from the San Fernando Valley.

On the top, a glittering neon amusement park and village promenade with air conditioned theatres and shops, arcades and restaurants beamed down below like a proud electric stage mother holding her hostage to fortune.

The slope of the freeway connected Burbank and the valley and then lowered down as it made its way south and parts split off east to Los Feliz and westward it split off into old side roads near the natural amphitheater of the Hollywood Bowl and finally merging into streets in the city of Hollywood.

 

I looked up at the black tower as I walked in with Mom through the cool and dark windy courtyard towards its belly and the building seem to breathe us in deep and smell us before we came in.

The sky above it was bright, bright denim blue above the dark shadow it threw over the happy entrance to the fun park up the hill.

 

We walked inside.

 

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