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  • This morning I woke up to my first Los Angeles rain, which lasted for seven minutes and was warm like bath water. I heard Keith in the kitchen, making breakfast and a list of things to do today, and voices outside on the street. There's no sidewalk on this block, which winds up to the top of one of the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, so I immediately thought there must be something wrong, a fight or a fender bender.

    I put my forehead to the screen and saw a cluster of old men in collared shirts and dress shoes and women in skirts, little girls with little-girl umbrellas (new and pink and covered with princesses) twirling around them.

    There was a knock at the door and I heard Keith walk over and open it. A woman's voice, thin and shaking, seemed to be asking him what he wanted to change about the world and why, and told him that-that-that they w-wanted to see some change...changes, too. Finally, at the end she gathered herself and said "Well, it was nice to meet you. My name is Emma. What's your name?" I didn't hear him answer, but I'm sure he did. He shut the door, which is from the '30s and only really shuts if you slam it, and walked back in to the dining room.

    I watched Emma walk back down the front steps and rejoin the group in the middle of the street. They all tacked to one side as a car came through, a little girl clinging to Emma's thigh. I wonder if we were her first house. My mother used to close the shades and lock both of our front doors when the Jehovah's Witnesses came up the block, and I wonder how many of them would have stuttered at her if she'd opened the door.
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