At a big resort near a body of water. Kids have their own river ferry/train that brings them to an enclosed playground with a long, sloping beach facing a canal and tall hotels. I ride across (cause trains are fun) and play lightsabers with some random kids near an artificial sand-bottomed pool. The fences are fat and colorful. Kids find their way into beige hotel rooms accessible from small doors near the poolside.
The interior of one of these transitions into a building built for older, rich Orange County types. Unusually pleasing architecture — like stacked A-frame houses, nestled together in the form of a steep little hill. There’s a series of these in an otherwise undeveloped Coachella Valley, called Almanac developments. They have the ugliness of being new, their small plants and just-bulldozed roads, but unlike most new developments they actually foster community. My viewpoint bounces from one to another, oldest to newest, until landing on the very peak of a hill which will be the developed next.
Flirting with a younger girl — we leave at the same time from a parking garage.
While sitting in the truck, a lady excitedly approaches our passenger side and tries to hand over a note. Wishing to expediently end the situation, I roll down my wife’s window (to her annoyance). It’s some generic inspirational gobbledygook which, as I expected, gets her to leave us alone after she’s told us “the good news”. I indicate to my wife that I think the lady’s just manic or something. My wife endearingly scribbles some creative additions to the ends of the lines of words, making the platitudes much more perverse and hilarious.
In the courtyard of a winding apartment complex, in a brick-walled barbecue pit area, I watch cousin Betty pick up hot coals with her bare hands. This isn’t far from somewhere on the coast called Mordor Bay.