Beginnings #11: To the Cleaner Air

The hills surrounding Los Angeles are lush and green, and are filled with windy roads connecting gated driveways.  The hills keep the smog in.  To the west, towards the Pacific, the lushness continues, but to the east, there is desert.  By the ocean, near the beaches, the light has a different sort of quality than from inside the city.  It’s bright and airy, even next to the industrial shipping ports, and even where offshore drilling platforms mar the horizon.  All along the coast, this sense permeates.

In the city, it is raining.  There is a drought on, but few are pleased by the precipitation.  It doesn’t often rain in the city.  People expect sun.  Gutters and storm drain are overflowing; they’re stuffed with desiccated leaves and dirt from months of dry weather.  A sign in a shoe store says “NO WE DO NOT HAVE RAIN BOOTS!”  Cars creep by in the streets, their drivers worried about wet pavement and deep puddles.

Dan watches the cars from the second floor window of Mimi’s apartment.  It has been raining for three days.  Dan arrived three days ago from the East, where it rains torrentially and often.  When the rain falls hard on the palm fronds outside the window, he frowns.  When it starts to hail, he looks away from the window.

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