Mirrors Darkly Author Notes - Chapters 1 and 2

November 17, 2020

By Don Wellington

Mirrors Darkly begins in my stomping grounds of many years - the Westside of Los Angeles, California - and specifically the Brentwood and Westwood neighborhoods.  Brentwood is best known to most Americans as the place where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered and where the low speed police chase of OJ Simpson ended.  Westwood is the home of UCLA (and one of the greatest Methodist churches in the country).  Westwood and Brentwood are divided by the 405 Freeway (which is in the opening scene of the movie La La Land).  There is also a large Federal building in Westwood (which is the setting of the FBI meeting in Chapter 1).  There is also a National Cemetery across Wilshire Boulevard.  Brentwood has a large VA Hospital and a Veterans Home.  And, sadly, too many homeless (and often disabled) veterans who still aren't receiving the dignity they deserve.

The canyons north of Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood are the setting for Chapter 2.  My late wife Terry and I spent countless hours walking the trails there with our dogs (and sometimes our kids).  Terry was an avid cyclist when I met her in Washington, D.C. back in the 1990s.  I was not much of a cyclist, however.  So much of the discussion about Darrin trying to keep up with Stacy is from my personal experience.  The canyons offer some of the best views of West LA.  Darrin's dream about the large wave coming ashore harkens back to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the massive tsunami waves that followed.