It was grey and foggy. Gladys looked at her little dog Bozz, shook her head and said “let’s wait a bit buddy”. She knew the May grey would creep out just as subtly as it had crept in. She was used to the fog that occurs when the low altitude clouds form over the ocean then the winds blow them inland creating fog and drizzle. Sometimes this weather phenomenon lasts all day, sometimes it lifts midday and once again the skies are azure blue and life returns to normal.
Most non-southern Californians know about the ill effects the Santa Ana winds have on people but very few know that May Grey or June Gloom also affects the inhabitants of the sunny desert metropolis. It coats them in a film of despair from which only the brilliance of the sun can cleanse. But I digress.
For clarity here is a little background on Gladys’ neighborhood. The street is extremely narrow only wide enough for cars to park on one side of the throughway. People in this area for some reason don’t use their driveways or garages, instead they choose to park along the narrow street. In addition to being narrow the street dead ends and because of the row of cars it affords no possibility of a turn around. One must either back their way out or park their car plant daisies on the hood and call it art.
The normal protocol for parking is to pull into the side street, which also is a narrow dead end, and then back up the street until you arrive at your destination. The problem is directly across from the side street is a house. The owner of the house usually puts his garbage bins in front of his house to prevent parking. Let me also say that since Gladys moved here she has learned that there is a parking dick on our street. She isn’t sure who it is but said PD has felt the need to put notes on her vehicle reprimanding her for parking in various spots. One was quite incoherent and hateful. Luckily Gladys is easy going and wrote it off to it being Hollyweirdness. Again I digress.
Finally the sun won the fight with the gloom and Gladys laced up her shoes and leashed up Bozz. He danced happily as they trudged up the staircase leading to the street. The neighborhood is mostly quiet; while it feels like a mountain retreat it rests above Sunset Strip in one of the busiest cities in the world.
There were the normal noises that permeated the day, birds chirping the construction workers next door pounding nails and sawing but there was also an underlying vitriol. It echoed through the canyon. This was the same canyon that echoed the lyrical sounds of Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield, Graham Nash and others of the era. Only this wasn’t the twangs of guitars and melodic sounds of harmony; it was yelling and cursing and what sounded like a jack hammer against a metal building.
Bozz breached the street first and backed up a few paces. There before him, stuck mid-turn around sat two large men encased in a giant green garbage truck looking fear stricken. There was a stream of obscenities and nastiness emanating from the other side of the truck. Bozz and Gladys approached the scene with trepidation. Behind the truck stood a short woman with a baseball bat threatening the men in the truck as they inched forward and back in an attempt to make a 587 point turn. They were attempting to make this turn while not backing into the car parked in the crash zone, her car. This was the same woman who had left the note admonishing Gladys for parking her car too close to the turnaround site. The incoherent note writer now stood in the middle of the narrow road replete in housedress and baseball bat threatening the very people who clean up her trash. The men in the truck nervously look from the safety of the 5 ton truck carefully trying to avoid the deranged woman while still doing their job. They inched forward, back, forward and back as the crazy woman screamed and swung her bat in their general direction.
Bozz sensed discord, decided to piss on the garbage bin and head back to the house with Gladys in tow. She cast a few glances over her shoulder as the big green giant inched it’s way to safety.
Gladys sat on the patio listening to the sounds of the garbage truck lumbering his way down the hill back into the safety of the bustling city. She wondered was it May Grey that had the woman in a tizzy or maybe she had her first encounter with a real Beverly Hillbilly.