From end of the driveway, I can see a dim light shining through the window belonging to the early-rising neighbor across the street. She leaves her house every morning before dawn. She is quite old and bent, and I doubt that she has a paying job. I have no idea where she goes so early every day. I suppose she might be volunteering at the hospital, or looking after someone for a few hours each day, but I like to imagine something more exciting. Perhaps she is the commander of a group of secret agents, and holds meetings with them to plan their daily activities. Maybe she is a disc jockey with a morning drive time show. Maybe she drives into the mountains, parks her car in some secluded vale, climbs a nearby peak and transforms into a hawk who spends the morning flying over the canyons, diving down to devour various small, hapless creatures. Maybe she is a priestess of a Sun cult who must perform a daily dawn ritual in some secret temple, lest the world be frozen in eternal night. Any of these would please my sense of drama.
I have (as I undoubtedly say far too often) long since grown weary of the monotonous days of summer. Summer was more enjoyable to me when I lived near the ocean, and could walk along the bluffs of Santa Monica, watching the kites loop and swirl and fill the blue sky with transient patterns as the blustery breezes made the chilly Pacific waters frothy with whitecaps. Sometimes I would look at the hazy outline of Catalina and imagine the buffalo grazing the isolated hillsides and canyons of their alien island and looking out on a blue green aquatic prairie they could not traverse. Sometimes I would go out onto the pier and inhale the stink of fish, and listen to the wheezing barrel organ of the carousel. Sometimes I would just watch the sails of small pleasure boats tacking through the swells, or the gray forms of large tankers and container ships farther out, passing up or down the channel. Here, I have only the sea of trees and the empty sky, and the relentless inland heat. I miss the summer beach.