The temperature reaches 95 by midday and I stop off to change my blue jeans into shorts. The fan is playing catch-up and there are dead flies on my grill. The windshield is dirty, the interior is scolding and the air outside smells charred like burning. It is the advent of brush fire season throughout the San Bernardino Valley, and I am reminded of how brilliantly Joan Didion wrote about this region nearly half a century ago. I am stuck in traffic on the 405 now, one final push before I spill out onto Lincoln Boulevard. No more roadway, no more desert. Nothing left but sea and sand.