It came early this year, the signal. Just now. I went outside and saw it and smelled it and felt it, and I said “Yep, there it is.”

Scientifically I know of nothing to back it up. I’ve never really heard anyone else talk about it. Maybe it’s all in my head or there’s some physiological connection — I don’t know. Don’t care.  What I do know is that for as long as can remember there’s always that moment on the downhill of an L.A. summer when the light changes ever so slightly and the air smells a little crisper and there’s just something different-feeling about the place and it all combines to tell me that summer’s leaving and fall’s on its way.

That’s not to say all the leaves will turn brown immediately and there won’t be some more blazing hot days in our immediate future. All I’m telling you is that every year usually at some time between mid-August and mid-September I can always count on receiving this message. Loud and clear.

I don’t force it. I don’t sniff the wind or look longingly out at the horizon wondering if it’ll take place sooner or later. It just happens when it happens. And it just happened.