Tuesday, July 1, 2008


There is no one walking around outside but something has alarmed us,
three of us - me, a patient, and
two night workers, a
nurse and an aide. We are all
jumpy and listening
intently to the silence, but the
birds aren't, the two little budgies dead to the
world in their cage. I have decided to
trust the birds and am
going to go back to sleep. I think what put us
on edge is a change in the wind; it's no longer
filled with smoke - either the fires have died down or
more likely the air is moving the smoke in a
different direction. Other people now will reach for their
tubes of oxygen and I will catch my naked breath for a bit.
There is something very pleasing about fire, even as it
scares and harms us - I guess because it's another form of
what keeps us alive. I want to
toast a marshmallow, burn the outside black and
eat it and repeat until it's gone - eat it between two bits of
milk chocolate between graham crackers, that's the way,
constantly moving around to get out
of the smoke. And maybe sing
"Tell me why."

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