A surreal tale of abandonment, hope lost, and an attempted return to a life that can no longer exist, as told from the point of view of Hestor and Nestor, the twin headless mannequins of Joplin, Mo.

The truck screeched to a stop about ten yards from us. A voice came from the blackness behind the wheel of the pickup: “Y’all take a picture of us!”

A year ago, I grew very tired of whatever I had been doing. I decided to engage some temporary manifest destiny and go west. Thanks to the graciousness of my host, I was able to explore San Diego and its vast desert backyard. This is what I saw.

Nice weather or not, we visit Revere Beach every spring. This year, we decided we would hit Revere Beach, Castle Island, and Wollaston Beach in one day.