I was lying in bed thinking about how odd it was to be in this apartment in this strange little town at this unexpected moment, and to be this old, and I started remembering the period when I used to go out walking through the nearly deserted nocturnal streets of suburban Los Angeles when I was nineteen or twenty— events chronicled in the notebooks I kept then, now turned to ash. I can't remember any of the things I wrote in those notebooks, but parts of the events I wrote about still linger in my memory, and I spent several minutes thinking about them before getting up and going into the bathroom where my cellphone was recharging, and when I checked the time on the phone it was going on half past five. The night was as gone as those long-ago years, but had left less of a memory behind.
Out in the back yard, in the barely cool air, I watched the morning awaken. Light came into the sky, and to the west it turned blue and to the east where the fires are burning it turned, not brown, but more of a lavender gray with a touch of yellow in it. The color conjured an image of an old organdy dress stuck away in an attic somewhere for eighty years, and some descendant of its owner finding it there and breathing in a sadness like the dust of lost years and lost thoughts, of moments as insubstantial as smoke in the air.
So another day begins. What can I say? This happened.