dream landscape 2 The smoke pall has lifted, which just makes the fires more dangerous. Acres and acres of burning. We’re not coughing and tearing up every time we step outside–one of the Princess’s friends, who just returned from China, remarked that it was only half as bad as Beijing–but everyone is still unsettled. The dogs can probably still smell smoke, and it makes them clingy.

Not that they need much help in the clingy department. They won’t even go down the stairs to pee unescorted, and that’s on a good day.

Two days of a vast cap of smoke meant rubescent dawns and blood-coloured sunsets, praying the ionizers wouldn’t get too filthy to work, and seriously looking into breathing masks. The wind, carrying the smoke, rasped against edges and made people even crazier than the heat. There was almost a fight in a grocery parking lot, normally sedate drivers wove drunkenly or peeled away from stop signs in a fury, and I’m sure there were a ton of domestic disturbances and alcohol-fueled parties veering out of control. It made me think of the Santa Anas, and I wonder how people in California bear it.

Anyway, we’re hoping for rain. Lots and lots of rain. Sometimes the clouds come with September, a thrown deadbolt locking summer out. Sometimes they wait to descend, teasing, until the end of the month. The trees are drooping, turgor pressure plummeting, and even the row of cedars in the backyard are looking dispirited.

It’s time to go back to Gallow 3. Either the book needs to die, or I do, and I’m not done yet. Lock and load, and let’s hope for rain.

Over and out.

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on the drive to Spokane, the pall of smoke was to the point I was looking for Tripods and Red Weed.