An abandoned driving range, perfect for dumping dead womyn’s bodies, stretches after a dead end near a 710 Freeway entrance.
I wandered the road behind it, following the Blue Line’s tracks. My romp smelled of Australia, mentholated, because of Eucalyptus trees flanking the dirt path. Do koala’s taste like eucalyptus? I would eat one to find out though I heard they carry chlamydia. Choalamydia.
My goal, in walkin this path, was to weasel my way into the driving range. It lures me because I want to channel the feminist ghost (yes, even in death ghosts practice identity politics) of Ana Mendieta on its dirt. I want to take off all my clothes, play dead, and take pictures of my morbid game. I want to take pictures of the traces that my body leaves. Eucalyptus leaves.
A snake moved through the leaf bed to my left and shopping carts filled with rags, suitcases and a blanket nest at the base of a tree trunk suggested that the snake was protecting someone’s home. Snake as watch dog. Rustling sounds came from the leaf canopy and from the reeds lining the other side of the path and the smell of weed wafted at us (the snake and me). People were there, maybe they could see, but I couldn’t see their bodies. I kept walking.
After taking some pictures of myself sitting on a concrete slab beside a homeless encampment where no one was home, I scuttled up the hillside and through a tear in the mesh ringing my siren song. I stepped onto the driving range’s dirt. Drought killed its grass. It used to be soylient green AF.
I crept to the corner, where the range drops off into grade that leads to the LA River. I knelt, grabbed bottles and rocks and arranged them into a makeshift tripod that propped my phone. I was setting the timer when, “Hey!” startled all the fucks out of me.
I managed not to come out of my skin but I yelled, “YOU SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME.”
A cholo standing beside a BMW stood framed by a vast tear in the mesh. He must’ve come from the river. He asked, “Charging your phone?”
I looked at my phone in the dirt, at its Druid tripod.
“No, I answered,” I’m setting up a picture.
He looked nonplussed. He asked “Got any meth?”
For whatever reason, I giggled. “No,” I said.
He continued walking his bike.
I shot my photo and then scooped up my phone and crept to the tear the cholo had emerged from. I wanted to scramble down the chaparral, towards the river, but I worried more cholos would emerge from the foliage and request meth.
I turned, headed out a hole, and walked along the path that had delivered me to a cholo.
I held my phone out, snapping photos of jeans tangled in branches. The cholo rode his bicycle a few yards ahead of me, doing donuts.
“Taking pictures of a mess!” he declared.
“Yes,”I said. “That’s what artists do.”
“Got a cigarette?”
He pedaled away.
I wandered into the eucalyptus canopy, ready to become one with its smell. Get chlamydia.