This neighborhood is coming to life as I sit by the window, drinking a cocoa. Outside, I watch as two women choose seats in the patio. As they sit, their table rocks, and one coffee tilts, then catches itself. The women don’t notice, but the cup looks embarrassed as it spills its contents.
On the way here, three wheelchairs blocked the bus stop and adjacent sidewalk. I tried to slip around them but discovered more people trying to get by, just like me. That traffic jam of pedestrians was keeping me from my breakfast. My stomach growled but theirs growled louder, and then we were in a face off, hackles raised, tails upright.
I think this cocoa was accidentally a mocha.
Winter in California is a strange thing. The sun is warm and I have to throw off my hoodie, sling it over my shoulder as I walk down 30th Street. But in the shadows, I huddle closer, rub my nose with equally cold hands. We decide to cross the street to get onto the sunlit sidewalk on the other side. We joke about our thin skins, make fun of our winter clothes, but when we get home, we wrap ourselves up with big quilts, make tea, and refuse to leave again.
The transplants mock us, but when January comes they complain – California isn’t supposed to be this cold! Their skins have broken down from sun exposure. They must replace their hides or else they’ll freeze to death come February.