56. So hot and cold a day I have not seen. It’s boiling in Larchmont in the morning. Last night, going home, Laural found a cat that had been killed on the road outside. She wrapped it up and put it in a box, but the morning is hot. I am woken up by her voice outside my room saying “We should bury the cat before it starts stinking.” 

It’s a conundrum. It’s someone else’s cat. They might be looking for it. But then is it better for them to know that it got caught on a car and rolled a good few metres on the wheel? Or is it better for them to think that it has gone off and found new friends, or that it has gone to the moon to sing with the mooncats? They might find the bloodstains on the road…


We decide to bury the poor wee beastie before it starts stinking. So first thing in the morning, in the beating sunshine, we are digging a grave in the garden. I’m sure I’ve seen this in a film before. It falls to me to lay it in there. It’s already stiff with rigor mortis, but we’ve dug big enough. I think it’ll be safe from coyotes. We say a few words, and when the posters come up we will make a call on it. Hopefully the owners haven’t chipped it or there is an awkward situation pending when someone arrives in the garden with a cellphone.


Digging a hole is hot work, even a little one. Lyndon wants to go to the beach and I think it’ll be a great opportunity to wash off the stench of death. Handling corpses is always a strange experience. This animation that makes life departs us and leaves a shell of starched meat. I’d sooner not think about it. So I drive to Venice. And there I discover another aspect of this California desert weather. The beach is a cloud. You can’t see a damn thing and it’s cold. We know in theory how on the other side of that cloud there is blazing unremitting sunshine. This is the first day I’ve put lotion on. And it’s like being in The Fog from a weird sci-fi movie. Lyndon keeps saying “Oh it’ll burn through” in the same tone as “It’ll be over by Christmas.” It’s not going to put us off though – we’ve been to Brighton. So we play a good game of paddleball tennis, which is the Californian version of tennis where you don’t have to run around so much. Then we wander around the foggy beach. It’s as crowded as it would be if the weather were lovely. Nobody seems to be fazed by the fact we are inside a massive cloud. There are drum circles on the beach filled with aging hippies and their cute puppies. There is even one guy in a wetsuit in the Pacific trying to catch some waves in the haze. He seems reluctant to get his shoulders above water level though. I’m surprised he can see anything whatsoever out there. It’s deep fog. The ocean looks unforgiving and it’s cold in this cloud. I have no intention of going for a swim today, but I am disappointed as today is the first day I’ve gone out with shorts on. I was going to sunbathe.

I’ve been invited to a fashion show so we drive back home in the late afternoon, and find evidence of a lovely day that took place on the other side of the cloud. Now I am back in my three piece and about to hit another crazy night. Wish me luck…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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