Paradise is hard to describe. Every time you think you have it nailed down it eludes you, like fog scurrying over pavement ahead of your high beams. Some say it’s the way you look at things. Others insist Paradise is more than a state of mind, it physically exists, fig trees and apple trees, snakes and moss hanging from the knotty limbs of broad elms stretched out like the arms of christ in the sparkling Brazilian morning dew. I’ve heard people say paradise is an island in the Pacific, a cruise in the Caribbean, a cheesecake, the success of your child, a moment or two of silence, nothing you could achieve on this mortal earth, a decent crap.
Paradise can be found on earth. That’s what people here believe. It is where people go to see a mouse walk the streets in red shorts and sidewalks inlaid with the names of the forgotten. It is where you can ski in the frosted morning mountains and swim in the cool salty Pacific Ocean in the same day. It is a sprawling paradise stretched out across rolling foothills and vast landscapes of desert. City lights so bright you forget there is a sky above with countless stars twinkling like new dimes on velvet.