Sometimes my memories of California come upon me so suddenly, with such vividness, I feel like I'm wearing them. I can almost feel them on my skin.
Today I'm remembering the hot air buffeting my head through my open car window, driving down Fullerton. The sound of dried magnolia leaves as I park my car on the street by our old apartment. The sun bearing down on my shoulders as I walk to class. The smell of hot sand, everywhere. The feeling of driving to a friends house, on the back roads between Brea and Rowland Heights, the crest of the hill on Brea Canyon Cut Off, on my way to my old church. The sound of sprinklers, of car alarms. Always having my left arm out the window in the breeze. Sitting in traffic in Placentia on a Friday afternoon. Sitting under a shade tree and still being so uncomfortably hot. The thrill of an afternoon off to go to the beach. Old friends and family. The old me.
These memories rise up and choke me sometimes, the way that the smell of hot desert sand did then.