According to a neighbor who lives down the slope behind the house across from us, there used to be a small lake a couple of blocks further on, which apparently was fed by an underground spring that still saturates his yard, making it necessary to pump out gallons and gallons a day from his residential bog. The entire surrounding area was a filbert grove; here and there, a filbert tree still stands, twisted, distorted, and generally misunderstood, half-dead, hung with petunia baskets, surrounded by bricks and lawn, shot through, gnarled, gnawed, somber, and proud. And I have known many a man who could be similarly described, old Armenians, mostly, with knuckles like walnuts and ears like weathered grape leaves mottled by insect activity, dew, and dust. All the more surprising and pleasing, then, their great voices and even older songs. Well, the lake is gone, but the memory of it lives on. And who knows but that someday this whole town might be gone, and the cities and freeways nearby returned to the elements, all that the lake might again reflect the sky and beckon to the strange-joyous children of our dreams? Who knows, indeed. What a nut. A filbert, to be exact. Is this why I got up this morning? Of course not. I got up because I’m on an important mission. And that mission is, breakfast — of starlight, and mush.