It seems that you can take lighters on planes again. Also, e-cigs. I find this interesting because a couple of e-cigs in a metal case have to look a little suspicious, don’t they?
The only problem with driving in Sonoma county at 3:30 am is the tule fog. You encounter it lying across the road in opaque swaths, so dense that you really can’t see more than 10 feet in front of you. It’s suddenly there, just like a tule deer jumping out in front of you. I’m never quite sure how much to slow down. You know anyone ahead of you might slow, not being able to see the freeway and all, but you can’t expect the car behind you to do the same, certainly not the big rigs. Luckily, the freeway is pretty empty before 4.
It’s easier to smell the city in the morning. Once the traffic starts flowing, all you smell is new smells: food cooking, car and bus engine exhaust, industry at work. Early mornings though, you can smell San Francisco, even through your car window: wet pavement, the medium-strong smell of garbage, the occasional baking fragrance, maybe some heating vents exhaling. Under all that, the smell of the water, the Bay where it laps at the city’s edge. A little fishy, a little mildewy, the ocean’s toe poking through a hole in its sock. Even with its perfume, you feel the ocean’s influence, stirring the air like an old AC unit in a window.
The city is darker before dawn than after dusk. I think it’s because of the windows, the rows and rows of houses and office buildings without a lit window among them. I don’t remember street lights being so yellow as they are now. Seemed to me they used to be more white, but I like the yellow cast. It’s like an old movie set, a little gloomy, even though the streets are wet, shiny and clean looking.
Because my flight is the first of the morning, there is no delay. Before the fasten seat belt sign goes off for the first time, I’m out cold. It’s a gift and a curse, the way I sleep on public transportation.