I went for a walk up my street this afternoon with a friend because it was a particularly sunny day after almost a week of rain and we had some ideas to brainstorm on. We walked through the hills up a bit higher. On the way there, an old lady standing outside her house shouted, "You look like twins!" On the way back down, fifteen minutes later, she was standing in exactly the same place and we stopped to talk to her. She said she used to walk her dog up the hill, back in the days, presumably many decades earlier, when her house and the neighbors' house were the only ones on the whole street. "There were owls that would hoot, and rabbits, and even wolves. That was the bad part, the wolves." She pointed at a white mini-mansion across the street. "And then they came and built that monstrosity... and that other monstrosity on top of it... and these other monstrosities..." After we said goodbye, we kept walking on down the hill past her neighbors' Aston Martins and Bentleys, and an enormous pale hawk flew overhead and unleashed a torrent of white hawk-shit into the air.
My neighborhood is interesting. Just like in New York, where I lived on Wall Street paying pennies relative to what my neighbors paid, I've found a very cheap rent in a storied neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills. (Five people live in my house, which was previously occupied by the bandleader Woody Herman.) All the neighbors are millionaires, some probably many times over, zooming through the hills in their $150,000 supercars. This makes me feel zen... there is nothing I could do in my chosen profession that would give me the sort of wealth that these people have. So, back to the writing.