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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

There are no seasons in Los Angeles

In my office, it's winter, the A/C blasting, my cardigan snug around my shoulders. The space heater I got in January warms my feet, the fan whirring on and off as the air changes, the temperature declines. My need for heat varies by the minute.

When I step outside for lunch, I feel a hint of a heavy humid breeze. But ice takes time to melt.

On my street, it's spring, for the sun still shines when my evening commute ends. There are trees in my neighborhood, surprisingly many, and yet it's only the trees on my block that bloomed into royal purple blossoms last weekend -- only the trees on my block that drift, sway.

Petals float downwards with lazy grace. I get out of my car. I breathe in.

In my apartment, it's summer, roaring fans and evaporating bottles of water and sweating swearing skin. The heat sneaks up behind me, without my noticing, as I sit at my computer in my work clothes -- I strip down, hasty, desperate for the shower. But drying off is a momentary thing; it takes mere moments for me to feel the walls closing in again, a charred smell oozing out from the burning inside and out.

I slurp a popsicle loaded with whole fruit; the label says tropical and the tropics are here. "At least it's a dry heat." But even dry heats burn.

In my mind, it's fall as I pack up my computer, pack up my notes, grab my wallet and keys. The timer has gone off. I'm cooked through.

I walk to the coffee shop down the street, walk towards the blended espresso that will make me regret only wearing a t-shirt and jeans. The treads of my sneakers dimple the fallen blossoms, but I'm thinking about plot points and things to research and character character character. I'm thinking about outlines and scenes and pages and text. Words. New projects, new ideas, fresh starts with old characters and new. It's the first day of school, every single night.

And I laugh as I wait to cross the street, as I watch the sun dim and the cars speed by. Because they say there are no seasons in Los Angeles. But every day is a year for me.

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