Monday, April 22, 2019


Forget the daffodils. Who cares about the budding trees and the dance of warm weather. Green is lovely, but I have seen it before. Yes it's beautiful out, but that only heralds something greater: 

The smell of tar is in the air!

Oh tar! Beautiful beautiful tar. I know the trucks are out on the streets today to patch up all the holes in the road, all the great craters and pits gouged in the streets by a mighty Winter full of bitter cold and deep ice. But all that's just an excuse. It is merely a way to bring to us citizens the glorious odor of hot tar.

At least that's how it feels to me.

I love the smell of tar.

Why, you might wonder, do I love the smell of tar?

I don't know, but I assume that it has to do with saber tooth tigers and mastodons.
As a wee child of four I was very, very into the Pleistocene Epoch. And if you were a four-year-old fan of the Pleistocene Epoch living in the Los Angeles area, and you had anything going on at all, you made your way over to The La Brea Tar Pits.

I had just a tiny bit going on so I made my way over to The La Brea Tar Pits. There full sized statues of Mastodons struggled for their fictional lives at the edge of a pool of tar. One of them screamed and thrust his tusks in the air as the tar sucked him down. There were also statues to view of Saber-toothed Tigers, in slightly less trying circumstances, and a wide variety of genuine animal remains and reconstructed skeletons. The La Brea Tar Pits were a death trap for Pleistocene Epoch Megafauna, maybe. The reasons for the great collection of remains has become less clear. Nevertheless there were a lot of remains there in The La Brea Tar Pits. And I loved them. And it all smelled of tar. 

Tar, tar, tar! Which is the smell of glorious monsters, and magic, and of ancient history! And it is also the smell of road crews making repairs on the River Road. And then too it is the smell of my heart, burning, pining, melting with a nostalgia so deep I barely know what it is.

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