At dusk the wind blows itself out and flags, bloated headless sea lion rolling in the surf, lights on the offshore oil rigs and San Pedro at the harbor mouth.

Brooding like some habitual soft worn jacket, used to wearing it against the winds that have blown themselves out all day, finally with a chill.

Last to arrive, I walked through several dozen people in two clans, some hellos, embraced the women—a paper plate, potato salad with chicharrones, last one eating.

People drop into folding chairs in the dark breeze from the ocean, Javier’s bonfire casts orange heat and sparks. Bonfires and parties all along the beach.

A sweet five year old looks up at me. Her family is heading back to the outskirts by the desert—I don’t know her name, when she hugs me she barely reaches my belt.

She and her sister like twins as they leave; the family struggles to get the father’s wheelchair through sand to the pavement. Too late to help, before I’ve said hello or goodbye they’re gone.

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