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Monday, September 19, 2005


In the rentalCamry not ten seconds before the first three presets are tuned to Alice, KFOG, and Live 105. I wonder if the locals (I was once a local) appreciate the lushness, the luxury, of three solid stations, one of which is always playing something listenable while the others are hiccupping boredom or commercials. All becoming all too irrelevant, but not if the charger's 400 miles away and you're in battery conservation mode.

Cruising up 24 (no obligatory preceding "the" in this part of the world, Northern Californians need no articles for their freeways), traffic-free at 7 p.m., toward The W.C. (Fox's next big hit). San Francisco sunset in the rear view. Tyler in the back boppin' out to some Gorillaz (ha ha ha ha ha), which I didn't realize until just now was a "virtual" band. Of course. Eucalyptus above the Caldecott, its walls still scraped, bare. The Lamorinda side holds a whole new word for Tyler ("Mountain"), bits of trees and highway barrier that are older than I am (for a change), sky that has to have been vacuumed, and the sense of the nearby residences of friends who have become what I remember of my younger parents — house in the East Bay hills convenient to BART, kids, a driveway seemingly sloped just for small wheeled conveyances, a dog, a vegetable garden, perhaps a skeleton or two in the closet, but no one would be so gauche as to look.

Amazing how a place becomes so traced on your neurons, how you don't notice that until you're there and they're all firing one nostalgic volley after another. (Is Fentons still here? Thank god. Now maybe I can shut up and get some sleep.)

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