It's about life - not "lifestyle"
The coast was socked in with fog this morning, making an inland Southern California heat wave look like a mirage. I'd sent the camera gear off with The Editor, on sort of a get acquainted voyage for the both of them, and wouldn't see either until tomorrow. In the meantime, I had things to get done.

One of the things involved going into a mall, something I see as being better off avoided whenever possible. I was hungry too, so I walked the length of the place, leaving Sears for the return trip. I grabbed a couple of quick and cheap burgers and ate them while watching some kiddy hour entertainment. Moms were sipping coffee while dozens of pre-school children were bopping around, while a woman on stage was singing songs. Half the mothers looked young enough to still remember the words to the songs from their own childhood.

Just about every store I could see into was selling some form of knockoff surfing style clothes. Hawaiian prints were in evidence everywhere, although I didn't see anybody buying any. You hardly see Hawaiian prints on surfers anymore, either. I figure that must be some kind of generational thing. Before the term "extreme sports" was coined, surfing was seen as something emanating from the heritage of Hawaii and Polynesia, and the Hawaiian print shirt was something of a testimony of that. These days the Hawaiian shirt seems equated with geezerhood... but so it goes.

I took care of business and started working my way through the mall, passing a rapidly increasing number of people who seemed to be intent on filling the place as the lunch hour approached. I was dressed for a beach run and didn't look a bit businesslike. The whole thing was getting a tense aura about it.

The last store before the parking lot for me was one of those overstuffed department stores, and I had to negotiate the "fragrances" section, along with strolling shoppers. I was getting a bit hot and uncomfortable and irritable too, probably, thinking about another day of lost photos with the fog, and thinking back to last summer which had both a fair bit of fog and a lot of flatness. I was preoccupied with this useless energy when a huge man approached with an intent look on his face.

He was probably fifty, six feet tall, and really, really round - barrel-waisted, if there is such a thing. He had a garish flowered shirt on, tucked into black slacks. On his feet were bright, new looking sneakers. As he came upon me his whole face broke into a huge smile and he spoke to someone behind me with grand enthusiasm:

"Okay, Let's go to the beach!"

I could feel the energy. Summer is here.
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