Wednesday, March 31, 2004

My first thought as I walk out the door is that I should have worn my sunglasses. They're inside, up two flights of stairs. My eyes are already starting to adjust, and I want to walk. As I step onto the sidewalk a chilly breeze hits my bare white arms. Combined with the sun, it makes for the nicest weather Los Angeles has seen in weeks.

I walk, squinting a little bit, towards Western Avenue. My destination is Magic Tobacco, a shop whose name evokes images of something a bit different than the Marlboro Red Kings I'm planning to purchase. As if the universe heard my thoughts, I walk inside and notice for the first time a glass display case full of beautiful glass pipes. One of them is shaped like an octopus, which pleases me.

I leave the shop and as I walk past Carl's Jr the smell of french fries hits me. For a minute I think I'm hungry, but it's probably just the smell tricking me. The drivers, usually so inconsiderate in my neighborhood, wait patiently for me to cross the street at the four-way stops on my way home. I admire the climbing flowers on my favorite house and take the long way around my building so that I can check the mail.

Someone has given me a credit card, which is a bit of a shock. I try to push aside thoughts of vacations and new clothing, replacing them (with moderate success) with thoughts of emergency money and a long-overdue dentist visit.

I look outside and the last bit of sun is struggling to keep its hold on my deck. Downstairs there is a streak of light across the balcony. The fuchsia's leaves seem to be leaning toward it. I look down at the floor and see my book, waiting. The canvas chair sits next to the fuchsia, and the sun is low enough that my eyes will be shaded.

The temptation is stronger than any desire I'm harboring to be indoors.