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Mile 17 Sutro Bath Ruins


 LISTEN  to a clip from 49 Miles
Performed by Stacy Ross

Recorded by black box
music by Curious Quail
"Apart we are together"




MILE 17 "Sutro's sandcastle"



Vanessa, an "off duty" archaeologist stands on the top of Sutro's Baths, walking along the cliff's edge. She is talking into a pocket tape recorder.



I'm not working today. Just sightseeing. Stopping to smell the sea air. I miss you. I'll send you this tape tomorrow... Promise me you won't play it for anyone else. Unlike some people, I don't like to hear the sound of my own voice. I'm at the ruins. I can almost hear you now. "Look on my works ye mighty and despair." I feel very foolish. But while I'm on sabbatical... I promised myself I wouldn't do any work.  I already got a full tour of the University's Archeology Department. It's an Egyptologist's wet dream. So now I'm up here on top of Sutro's sandcastle. With a view of the coast and the western world's end.  Layers upon layers beneath me. Playland's skeleton is silent beneath a supermarket as the Cliff House diners fork shellfish into themselves. The seal rocks. I find it hard to reconcile the beauty of those white rocks, with how they got that way. Bird shit. Nature's whitewash. Snow white trash rocks. They almost glow. All the while their bases are worn away by the tide and there's no doubt about their eventual fate. The rocks, the birds and the diners. Time knows this. I know YOU know this too. You've asked me the big questions but I don't have any answers. That's why I quit the dig. When all is said and buried, now is the only moment we have. But here's the thing. If we're not supposed to look for meaning in the sifting of the sand and the uncovering of the bones. What else is there for me? I wonder if you'll call while I'm up here. I left my phone behind, I was afraid you'd catch me in the act of digging up our past. What remains? Can't we just be together now? Not defined by some relationship- What does it matter? A rose is, and would still smell...The tide's coming in... the surf's up... You'd love it here... please come. Take a few days off. Those fossils will still be there next week. I won't. It was a beautiful day here... even without you. I just wanted you to know that.




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