I’m outside in a comfortable seat, and it’s about 78 degrees with a nice little breeze stirring things up. Birdies are at the feeder and bath, and I have a beer to hand in a frosted glass. We don’t have mosquitoes here. It’s a lovely evening.
I just took delivery on a couple air purifiers. I’m not the type to fret about airborne particles, pollen or dust or mites or cooties or mold or any of the other various prospectors from the fungi kingdom, or even bad juju, which is purportedly ether-borne. I’ve been very lucky with my health and don’t suffer from such things. But the odds of getting through the summer here without a smoke event are very remote. That’s something we have now, smoke events, such as last year when we were at 400+ on the index that says you should stay indoors under a wet towel and weep if it gets above 35. I didn’t care for the odor, or the orange daylight that matched the curtains of the Apocalypse, but I did okay. Dave tends toward bronchial issues, though, so I thought we’d get air purifiers for at least a room or two. In the event.
I have yet to get a go-bag together. Yeah, sure, I know about the emergency kit for the big earthquake, which I hope to either survive underneath my piano or die under it, flattened and accompanied by a celestial 88-key chord. But a go-bag, in case of wildfire and a shift of wind, I had not thought about. Also? Supposed to keep my gas tank at least half-full in case I have to get out in a hurry and there’s a traffic jam. I’ve given some thought to what absolutely needs to be saved out of the house. Tater Cat, my external hard drive, Pootie, and…well, Pootie’s best friend Hajerle, whom I promised my sister Margaret I would take care of. There’s probably other stuff, if I put my mind to it.
Getting a gun is not in the plan, even if someone wants to take my stuff. I guess I understand the reasoning, but some deep authentic part of me, which may or may not be reasonable, insists that if I survive a tragic event it will be with the help and cooperation of like-minded friends and strangers, and not if we’re all guarding our castles and putting heads on pikes. I might be naïve here, but questioning myself on this would damage my heart in irreparable ways.
It’s interesting to be this age, in this age. I can look back on my life as though it were sliced into little planes of existence, stacked up against time, so that it is easy to see the progression. It wasn’t long ago I never thought about washing face masks and trying to re-shape the little wires in them. I never thought about spiffing up my basement so there will always be a cooler room to sleep in.
It never occurred to me to quit writing books because nobody will be around to read them soon.
We did have fears, in those earlier life-slices. I remember being afraid of our toaster, because it was well-known that you could die from sticking a knife into it to get your toast out. We were never to run with scissors, or take candy from strangers. But strangers never offered us candy.
Air travel was rather new. We went to the airport at least once just to gawk at the big airplanes. They’d lumber off the runway with a roar, and we’d point at them and go home again. Where we’d watch them pass over the back yard. Seems like it took them a couple seconds. We didn’t think about carbon at all.
We were afraid of dogs. Dogs ran free and sometimes in packs, and a few of them were scary, especially if you were little.
So, toasters. German Shepherds. Something that could “take your eye out.” But nobody had a Kevlar backpack.
Tonight I’m watering the blueberries, trees, and vulnerable beds. Supposed to get up to 104 tomorrow. 109 on Friday. I remember when that didn’t happen.
I really like German Shepherds now. My fears are both stronger and more diffuse. It’s harder to get ahold of them, compared to Death Toasters. I’m sitting in this beautiful breeze with my beautiful beer and beautiful husband and thinking: this, today, will become my new nostalgia, as the Gulf Stream Jacuzzi winds down and subsides into a sloshing ocean of apathetic bath water.
That wasn’t in the picture when I was little. Then, and again now, the future used to be further away.