July 19, 2003
memorial in Santa Monica
A week or two ago a small plane dove into a smallish apartment building in the Fairfax district just a few blocks from where we lived for seven years, demolishing the building and killing some of its residents. We still live within walking distance. We drove past there on our way home the day after the crash. The street was cordoned off, police patrolled the area.
This past Wednesday an elderly man lost control of his car and drove full speed into the crowded Santa Monica farmer's market, killing several people and injuring many more. Before we discovered the Sunday Hollywood market, we used to attend the Wednesday one in Santa Monica. It's the best in the city. Many farmers have booths at both markets. I recognize faces and names from the news stories of vendors in shock. We'll go to the market tomorrow morning. I wonder what we'll see in their faces.
Small tragedies, you could say, but so very close to home.
Last night I happened to be in Santa Monica, walking on the Third Street Promenade on my way to hear my college classmate Merin Wexler read from her (very good) collection of short stories. A clump of people stood and watched dancers. Another clump stood and listened to live jazz. Another clump stood silently, acknowledging an impromptu memorial that has grown daily since Wednesday. I took some pictures on my way to the reading, more on the way back.
This is my way of standing witness.