We didn’t get far, off Vista del Mar and onto Culver, when Bridgid let it be known she needed a pit stop, and I pulled off the side of the road in the Ballona Wetlands. Tilde put Brigid on a short leash and walked her into what I guessed was sagebrush. I stayed with the car, the traffic on Culver heavy in both directions. The basin was lovely though in the noon sun, buggy and birdy, hot wild flowers, liquorice, a stew of smells. Tilde got back to the car, turned, and whispered, oh look, and we stilled and watched a blue butterfly bopping around what Tilde said was buckwheat. Back in the car we crossed over Ballona Creek and came around onto Lincoln, then the first left and onto Admiralty Way to continue north around Marina del Rey, then left on Washington to Pacific Avenue. And that was where and when Tilde blessed me with the second surprise of the trip (this one a gobsmack bit more of a bell-ring than the dog) Wormy had neglected to mention. We were to stop off at Tilde’s parents’ place on Court D in the Venice Canals, where we would pick up Tilde’s two daughters, Nancy and Harriet, aged 10 and 6, who would be making the trip north to San Francisco with us.
“Room for Two More” is episode 53 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.