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Good morning. It’s New Year’s Day. The weather outside here in L. A. appears to be clear, even though the sky looks as flat as the unconscious sky of a dreamless sleep. (Just to remind you, I wear my nightmares around my throat like neckties.) Looking at the thermometer, I see it’s fifty-four degrees Fahrenheit, which is about twelve degrees Celsius.

I was thinking about my mother during the paralysis that takes hold of me just before I wake up. She believed in bearing any burdens that could weigh me down when I was a child. And she believed in the importance of a good breakfast. I loved the oatmeal she made for me on rainy days, warm in my mouth and velvety as it slid down my throat.

It looks like it’s going be sunny today up until lunch, with rain developing after noon and lasting all along the way through the night.

I still miss my mother after another year separated from her life. I just ate a muffin for breakfast that chewed like thistles in my mouth. I hear her telling me that I’m no donkey pulling a cart of coal. And I hope you know that you’re no pack-mule loaded with sacks of dirt. I suppose, though, that in the end we all carry death on our shoulders like a yoke.

Nevertheless, enjoy the good weather this morning, but be ready for rain whenever it comes. Happy New Year, everyone.