Just south of LA International Airport the houses had no basements.
They were built on cement slabs on the side of a hill
and looked down on more expensive houses capped by red tile roofs,
shaded by giant eucalyptus trees that smelled like cat piss
when the fog rolled in off the ocean.

My friends and I were curiously passive, without overt ambition.
When our teachers would ask us why we hadn't been in class,
we'd shrug and say, "Went to the beach," as if full disclosure would suffice.
Maybe it was the weather. You could walk outside barefoot on a January morning.

Our fathers were engineers, defense workers, and we were their war bonds,
their peace-time dividends, the ICBMs of their eyes.
Once a year, each of the major aerospace companies
sponsored a Family Night at Disneyland.
I never knew what my father did at work,
but couldn't help connecting it with Disneyland.


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