Not as pleasant, the cold and dew. The cold slips beneath my buttoned jacket. The car is cold and damp. Condensation covers the rear window, but the windshield is clear and I wonder why. Monk is playing, but I switch to Ibrahim, I want to feel happier. A woman walks two samoyed dogs and this is the first time I see them; she is wearing shorts and I wonder if she is cold. The dogs are impatient, but not because of the cold, of that I’m sure; the woman looks tired of things. King and Bay: I can never tell what’s happening, I think to myself, but the light turns green and I ease into a right turn. I’m glad construction is finished, both lanes are open, but I never used the one that was closed anyway, but it looks cleaner. The air feels fresh now. A young woman is wearing many layers and has her sweat pants tucked into very clean, leather work boots; she is going to class and she looks ready, but in no hurry. I smile as I come around the bend before the bus stops along Heller. I forget why, but it wasn’t because of anything funny. I roll down the windows past the thickest part of the redwood grove. It’s too cold, so I pull them back up about 12 seconds later. I don’t know what it was, but something that looked like a very small, chrome-plated hub cap, comes rolling across the path and I have to stop. Is it a sign? I think to myself. I begin to worry that it is a bad sign, an omen. I want to be happy this morning. I drive slightly to the right of the metal plates, so that it doesn’t make such a loud noise. There are 324 parking spots left in Core West Parking and I guess that means I might find a good spot. I find a great spot and wait for a car behind me to pass, but it doesn’t pass. I back into the spot quickly and accurately, and I feel proud of the feat for a minute.
It gets darker quickly now and there aren’t very many lights in the area, just yellowish windows against a dark of redwoods, mostly. Coming over the hill, the sun is still setting, so I drive a bit faster to see if I can see the ocean coming down the hill. I see it and it’s less beautiful than the sky and the clouds today. I think about emails. The light turns green, but I wait for a young man in shorts to cross first before I make the turn; he looks cautiously and continues with a relaxed gait. It was relaxed and natural, so odd. I was the third car to line up in the left turn lane onto King, which does not happen often. At the corner, I see the young woman and her two samoyeds again; she doesn’t look cold, but she looks tired still and I wonder what she did today. It’s darker and the speed bumps come with the bounce of headlights in the rearview mirror and I wonder if my lights are blinding the driver in front of me, too. I wonder what color my headlights are as one passes me with the bright, slender headlights that might have just been daytime running lights. A small dog in a parka leads its owners across the street and I think of my family dog, Sarang, who passed a few years ago. Peyton is so dark at night.