Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, the grownups say, their weeping cocktail glasses in hand, their measure of heat meant to impress. Craving glamour, my parents dance through the summer of ’64 at Nat Park where Tommy Dorsey plays, Dad in his sports coat, Mom in her blue dress and matching stiletto shoes, while we teeter on the fence between excitement & danger. We play barefoot kick the can at dusk – one eye out for whoever’s it, the other for the neighbor boy who gives us the creeps – then pile into the living room in time to watch Hitchcock’s shadow step into his nine-stroke caricature. There, we imbibe the blue light of black & white, of sexuality served up with a violent twist, preferring its fictions over the real suspense of not knowing whether Dad’s drunk will be jolly or careen like shadows in a funhouse ride, fill the night with shrieks & screams. By day, we squat at the end of the driveway, stirring puddles of oil spewed onto Assembly Street by road crews, our heads filling with clouds of volatile organic compounds while we watch the woods across the street, where Ponderosas drop their rust needles, their cones. Where tear-shaped pitch seeps. Where, four years earlier, police found the murdered nine-year-old body of Candy Rogers at the bottom of the old quarry under a blanket of pine duff as if asleep.