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I Fall For It Every Time



It happens every time. As I'm coming over the Angeles mountains, I always mistake the bruised, purple-red sky over LA for dawn. Usually it's about 4:00 as I'm coming through that pass. Dawn's a long way off, but I'm always anxious to get to where I'm going, so I see what I want to see. The real dawn comes forty minutes later, the sickly yellow purple of a healing bruise, and is much less pretty. By the time actual dawn is apparent, I've come through the valley.

At 4:30-5:00 a.m., the whole San Fernando valley reeks of bacon. There are two kinds of people up and eating breakfast at that time of the morning. They're all middle aged or older, most of them work jobs that start before the latte crowd are even out of bed. But beyond that, there are the oatmeal eaters and the bacon eaters.

The oatmeal eaters are ex-hippies. In the hotter months they'll eat kashi with either soy milk or goat's milk, or no milk, instead mixing it into yogurt. They probably garden, know their cholesterol count, can name their state assemblyperson.

The bacon eaters are almost all men - blue collar workers on their way to a shift job for which they are trying to gird their loins. With pig fat. They smile a lot, are fatalistic about politics which they don't perceive as having an impact on their actual day-to-day life, and just want to get through the day without having to be pissed off at anyone.

The bacon smell subsides almost as soon as we're past the Getty Center. From there, it's about half an hour to where we're going, and I know that I can make it. No matter how tired I am, I've made this drive before, I'll make it this time, and people I love are waiting for me at the end of it.