It Was Hot Even Then

…the words hanging from your lips, like the dew of sweat and work, the war zone of Swells Beach, Fernandito’s and Casa de Rodeos in the same building on Breakers Heights Boulevard, the Frankincense Wine and Cheese Shop a block away, meandering through its aisles in search of wine that wouldn’t give Bob a headache and that fit in his five-dollar-a-bottle budget, setting up the tent in a park to test it out the day before

… coastal flapjacks and sausage, the morning sun slanting over the cup of coffee on the table in the hewn woodwork …

leaving for Costa Grande, the twisting Road A hundreds of feet above the Pacific rocks, Wish You Were Here playing all the way through, Cassandra afraid of going over the edge, a very real possibility, the redwoods, following creeks up the mountain, the trees so still and the trails so full of people, a sonic boom from some passing jet patrol mistaken in Bob’s paranoia for thunder, breakfast at the Costa Grande Inn, coastal flapjacks and sausage, the morning sun slanting over the cup of coffee on the table in the hewn woodwork, the airy breath of a Costa Grande morning, then winding down to Morgana’s Pub for lunch and wine before hitting the Santos de Vinos wine country, the dry heat of early autumn driving the temps above 100, and the Bobcar with no air conditioning, sweating out the wine as they went, listening to Dylan and the Band Before The Flood while getting stuck in construction traffic with a frustrating half-buzz going back to the Inn 21 in Franciscoville, taking the river walk down the dry creek bed which probably ran hard and dry in the winter, that was the weekend Johnny Cash died and the news was all over it as Bob and Cassandra watched in the motel room, needing a buzz, it was the same trip they stopped at Arena del Pelican State Beach and climbed the dunes and walked up and down the beach because they had gotten to Franciscoville too early for their room reservation after shooting through L.E. in the early hours after sunup of a Sunday morning, listening to the Doors Light My Fire, still with some coffee from home in the cup, they stopped at a roadside park off the 101 to have their lunch and realized they had to pay for day use of the park, it was hot even then…

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