So real it’s scary

I am ecstatic to say that I’m currently sitting in our dining room with the windows open. This morning, walking Paul, I was—not chilly, but I did feel a cool wind on my arms, which is about as much harbinger of fall as we’re likely to get in Tucson, in early September. The windows will have to be closed and the air conditioner re-instated within the hour, but it is nonetheless a massive change, a reminder that the evolution of the seasons continue. I know there are places in the country where it has snowed in the past two days, and though that continues to seem, at best, mythological, I suppose it’s also true.

This past weekend, it was still hovering around 105, but because we were at an AirBnb with a pool, it almost didn’t matter. The pool, which constantly circulated water for some reason, kept very cool throughout the day, and so we were able to be outside for hours at a time. I had not realized how much I had missed this.

I’ve thought a lot about water this summer. How much I miss it, crave it. How now, after living in the desert for so many years, the amount of green I see during visits to Seattle seems like a jolly joke; how could it possibly maintain such a steady greenness, a lush wet aspect, when (according to my Tucson-acclimated mind) you have to water everything by hand for hours per day? My father grows strawberries the size of ping pong balls. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Sometime this week, I plan to go to a garden center and buy some fertilizer and soil; I want to clean out my garden so it’s ready for fall planting, and I want to take advantage of some large empty pots we have sitting around in the backyard, to green up the place. Desert green, but even so. I need to do something for our loquat tree, too, which, after heroically bearing fruit this spring, has been kind of frizzled and fried, to the point where I’m nervous for it.

Last night I dreamed that I could fly, but also that I had somehow left Paul behind in Germany while doing a heist. I was genuinely relieved to wake up and find him smiling his doggy smile, waiting for a chance to go outside into the unaccustomed cool of the morning. There were a lot of sunglasses in this dream. A lot of losing them and finding them and trying on new ones in dark parking lots. It can be dull to tell people your dreams, but lately it feels like the only way to explain the frenetic jumps of my mind, to share associative, suggestive images. To say, I felt that, but I don’t know why.

If you don’t know about the way caterpillars metamorphose their bodies into butterflies (liquified! to! a! protein-rich! soup!), I encourage you to read about it, because it’s wild. We are in the wild world. Oakland is red this morning; sailors take warning. The smoke from those fires has made its way down here, too, though not nearly as bad. The sun yesterday had an uncanny tint, but it’s back to normal now. No one knows what they’re breathing these days. We don’t know, breath to breath, quite how to keep safe. Wear a mask. Water your strawberries. See you next week.