Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rainstorm in L.A.

"Even before they reached the airport, something about the light had begun to go weird. The sun vanished behind clouds which grew thicker by the minute. Up in the hills among the oil pumps, the first raindrops began to fall, and by the time Doc and Shasta got back to La Brea they were in the middle of a sustained cloudburst. This was way too unnatural. Ahead, someplace over Pasadena, black clouds had gathered, not just dark-gray but midnight black, tar-pit black, hitherto-unreported Circle-of-Hell black. Lightning bolts had begun to descend across the L.A. basin singly and in groups, followed by deep, apocalyptic peals of thunder. Everybody had turned their headlights on, though it was midday. Water came rushing down the hillsides of Hollywood, sweeping mud, trees, bushes, and many of the lighter types of vehicle on down into the flatlands …

"The rain beat down on the car roof, lightning and thunder from time to time interrupting thoughts of the old namesake river that had once run through this town, long canalized and tapped dry, and crippled into a public and anonymous confession of the deadly sin of greed … He imagined it all filling again, up to its concrete rim, and then over, all the water that had not been allowed to flow here for all these years now in unrelenting return, soon beginning to occupy the arroyos and cover the flats, all the swimming pools in the backyards filling up and overflowing and flooding the lots and streets, all this karmic waterscape connecting together, as the rain went on falling and the land vanished, into a sizable inland sea that would presently become an extension of the Pacific."

— Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, 165-166