- Eureka’s tallest building is its jail.
- There is a bar called the Speakeasy whose ceiling glitters with an artificial Milky Way and whose windows glow with the embers of red parlor lights.
- Their drinks are overpriced and their martinis taste like dried fog residue.
- In one day you can feel the kiss of the sun and the patter of spring rain and the vibration of thunder and the ghostly waft of woodsmoke.
- But usually you just feel the damp.
- An economic apocalypse, which once was kept well hidden by the powers that be, is casting a long shadow on these glinting streets in the form of the homeless mentally ill and chemically dependent. The establishments once promising to help them are now too crippled to open their doors, leaving their inhabitants to stand on vacant corners and talk into the wind. They are numerous, and they hold an invisible grief in slumped or violently prostrate stances. They frighten the lucky few who are still able to contain their assorted psychoses in neat little brain spaces.
- A dock on the marina is not blocked by rope or gate day or night, unlike the marinas at home. This means I can walk down their tinny planks and stand nearly upon the glassy surface of the night sky at the stroke of midnight.
- An emerald dragon breathes chili red flames in a dark alley.
- There is a secondhand clothing store that features a do-it-yourself record player and a selection of country and old rock and roll. Everything is beautiful; everything is cheap. In it there is a magical dress, a little black satin number, that makes me feel very very pretty for a little bitty while.
- There is a mansion, culled with pride from the labor of lesser folks and built to intimidate, whose grotesquely ornate roof lines stab at the skyline like the hilt of a singularly flamboyant madman’s epee.