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PLANETARIUM is broken/”how much longer do you guys wanna be here with this?”

04/21/10


Ashes to ashes, star dust to star dust… I don’t know whose idea it was but it sure felt good. Sad and scary and a little bit wrong but good. After more hours and more work, more fights and more sleepless nights than any of us would like to admit – we gathered the remains of Planetarium for a ritual burn. Illegally and without planning, of course, we tossed our flat wonkies over a chain link fence between the Midas and the wash, kicking triangles up into the air and down the diagonal concrete wall of some waterless river. Planetarium lit up fast and warm, casting orange on us and bits of gray into the air like falling stars. Smoke billowed up up up and through a silly tube under a big road, building two pillars of thick cloud flanking drivers and passerby who wondered what the hell was going on and took pictures with their cell phones while thinking maybe they should call the cops. Twenty minutes later we shuffled moist sand as the flames fell leaving lava-like lumps of black and hot red that twinkled and flickered recalling Planetarium’s projected starscape. Authorities arrived just as Kyoung and Ben left, performing the parts of concerned citizens and getting away just in time to avoid the hour of brush boozing and bramble scrambling that Ryan, Jack and I enjoyed to avoid arson charges or having to talk to cops. I prepared countless narratives on the off chance that we were spotted but no one came close. Idling police greeted roaring engines and searchlights gave way to strobes: The most bizarre and beautiful theater I ever saw was the play of gigantic firemen shadows hosing our already put out paper. Profiles two stories long criss-crossed our hiding bush, flash lights zig-zagging as lazy police men decided not to jump the fence to find us. Once they were gone we ran for it, shoeless across the sandy wash leaving easy footprints to follow then storming haphazardly through twisted tumbleweed trees and rocks that looked like dead balugas. Drunk/scratched/bruised/splintered and giddy with not-getting-caught, we emerged on the tidy paseo that led us right to Jack’s door. Good bye Planetarium, G’night!

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