Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Sunday Series: Sunday March 22, 2015

Sunday No. 11

Sunday March 22, 2015

In my many moments of pure crisis, I often find myself at the Santa Monica Pier - not only for the view of the Pacific Ocean, but more importantly, Zoltar the Fortune Teller.   I tend to make the wrong choice at the worst times in my life, so I choose to let fate take a hold of me, by giving my role of chance to Zoltar.   Like others in my troubles, I tend to look at a higher power to lead me out of the darkness into the lightness.  For whatever reasons, I have always been attracted to the Santa Monica Pier, not due to its tourist attractions, but the darkness that seems to lurk in the shadows between the arcade games.   It is one thing to be here in bright daylight with others, but to be surrounded by the machines themselves in the dead of the night, is almost a spiritual re-awakening.  I have to admit I felt fear when I'm here alone in the arcade, but also feel that I'm only a foot away from my existence, and therefore feel more alive than anywhere else or time. 

The Santa Monica Pier opened in 1909, which was a very much different world then.  The extension from land or beach to the sea, must have been a sign of significant meeting - in that one is honoring the horizon that the ocean represents.    For me, when I look out at the edge of the pier to the vast amount of water, I think there is no turning back once one makes that journey beyond the shore.  So, instead of going forward to the horizon, I turn my back to the ocean, and head towards Zoltar. 

This particular vending machine only cost a quarter, and lucky they had a change machine near-by.  I put my quarter in, and received a fortune from Zoltar saying: "You are a strong believer in fate."   At that moment, that belief was extremely strong.  I looked into Zoltar's eyes to see if I can receive a recognition of some sort.  Oddly enough, I couldn't get a fix on his eyes.  It seemed that he was looking away from me, perhaps as far away as my past.  "You feel you have no control over your destiny."   No shit Zoltar!  I often wander around the pier after midnight, hoping to see a sign saying 'don't jump into the ocean."   

Instead I look at my fortune card that came from the vending machine, and it tells me that my lucky numbers are 10, 12, 13, 2, 1.   Since today is the 22nd, and I didn't see 22 as among my lucky numbers, I felt I was on very dangerous ground.  All I could hear was the hum of the Zoltar machine, and the waves hitting the pier.  For whatever reason, I thought of a piece of music by Edgar Varése "Arcana."  The original arrangement consists of an orchestra with 120 musicians, and yet, here I can just hear Zoltar and the ocean.  Both have an organic quality, and I always thought of Varése as a composer tied closely with rural and urban sounds.   And here I'm, standing by the fortune vending machine, and only feet away from the majestic ocean, which is calling out to me.

As I was very much alone, I felt more romantic.  It started to rain, and I had no desire to hide myself from the tears.  Alas, I read the last part of my fortune, which reads "fate will be kind to you and you can expect your life to run on a smoother pattern."  I looked back at the ocean, and immediately realized that my destiny lies not there, but with Zoltar.   I made a promise right there, that I would never leave the pier, nor will peer pressure will ever make me jump into the ocean.  My thoughts, my life, are an island of contentment. 

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