LA Underground, January 2013 (January 15, 2013)

I step into the darkness with California sun-stained eyes, and I’m overwhelmed in the most transient way… I step into the darkness and hear the sonorous dripping of the water echo as we walk in.

I stand in the LA underground and see spider webs, and my tilted reflection staring back at me in semi-evaporated puddles. I don’t even dare to dodge the puddles because even the little rush of water around my toes is cleansing enough for this to feel like catharsis. As the back wash of water stagnantly stares at me, I notice I lose sight. Brendon and Kyle run ahead, I hear their voices bouncing down the walls of the aqueduct. I take in a deep breath again, like I had so many times out there. Even though the water is washing away the dirt of the canyons, the mud of the mountains, the snow from Mt. Baldy, it leaves it’s own mark.

I take my shoes off and leave them in the dry spots, and splash and splash and splash, jumping up and down so I can really feel the blood of the LA underground between my toes. The city baptizes me one last time, and washes away the past. It’s a new year with new friends and new experiences, new challenges, new places to go, new hearts to mend and bridges to cross. I can’t help but feel like these little tiny puddles come from hurricanes, and tsunamis, and that the water is really up to my knees, because that’s how strong this is to me.

It’s my last day and I’m leaving. It’s my last day and it’s all being washed away. But now I am cleansed to be brighter, to be stronger. I take one more deep breath and I walk out one last time, the bright light of California’s winter sun beaming into my irises. 

I remain barefoot for hours after, just to remind me of the sullen earth beneath my feet.