california lite

The Eastern European author’s rueful voice broadcasts commentary on a 1000-year-old Hebrew service being held in a desolate Hungarian synagogue for the remnants of an ancient population decimated by the history of the past century.

This sounds odd on the car radio, driving in traffic in the bright midday California glare, the highway verge dotted with the sterile recent functionality of California’s low buildings, and seeing inside the big, shiny cars the hair-gelled heads, the passing faces—hard, pink, unmarked by life—of its people.