21 august 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

i got the first waft of fire as i approached the 405. not my car, i thought. anything but my car. i rolled up my window and took another whiff, and indeed the scent was gone. when i rolled my window back down, the smell returned, and i knew it had to be coming from outside. making my way down the ramp, i saw a sea of cars, bumper to bumper, brakelights' faded glow glaring straight at me. my foot fell on the brakes and i stopped Pavement to listen to the traffic report.

it was a brushfire, on the sepulveda pass, at mulholland drive. the side of the hill that i pass on my way to and from work every day. the hill that was green for a few glorious days this spring and had made me want to sing The Sound of Music on many a morning commute. the same hill -- normally patches of dull green and brown -- was now ablaze. tomorrow morning, it would be charred black.

i knew i was getting close when a haze of smoke took over the sky's sunset. and there was no mistaking the flashing red lights, not slow and dull like the tired brake lights of commuters but rapid and raging, like they were screaming "emergency." the firetrucks lined the side of the road. there were so many -- maybe 20, maybe more. several dozen firefighters climbed the hill into the smokey cloud. they looked so small, like ants making their way up an anthill, one after another. and i couldn't help think that what was up there might be too big for them. i tried to get a good look at the damage, but the traffic's flow pushed me past the scene too quickly.

at the bottom of the hill, it was just another monday night commute: once you pass wilshire, it's smooth sailing. the volume goes back up and i resume my singing. i am making lists in my head of what to do tonight when i realize i am only 1 1/4 miles away from my exit, and i am in the furthermost left lane. i turn on my blinkers and rush to get over to the offramp. a few more miles down a straight path, a stop light, left, another stop light, left, right, curve, left, and i'm home.

the air smelled different. not like the valley. not like fire. but like the ocean. cool, calm and serene.

awfully inspired, still, by adventurers like greg and michelle and tonia, who are all paving their own paths.

also, craig is my hero because he's in the Entertainment Weekly. pick up a copy and see the minipops on paper!

you do realize the only reason i'm writing this now is because i'm procrastinating writing something else.

the reason i love diaryland so much is because you can always find some good, honest, no-frills writing. like hers.

"lazy people just need other lazy people to revel in their lazyness with. the problem being that lazy people are too lazy to find other lazy people to revel with."

you stop hearing the airplanes after a while.

my moody mood