Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This is an old picture, but it is better than the ones I took when this happened this week.  Sandstorms may be predictable, but not be me, or anyone I know here.  The limits of prediction tend to be as the photographer in this picture: “Oh shit; will you look at that!  Let’s take a picture.  Now let’s run inside.”  Sometimes, this happens when you sleep, and you wake up and notice no sunlight coming from underneath your door; an opaque thickness to the air, and layer of dust on your nose.  This dusty fog may linger for weeks, I am told.  It does provide a reprieve from the heat (by blocking the sun); at the cost of pulmonary detriment.

When you do emerge from your hootch in the morning, you sense you are stepping into the post-apocalypse.  The air is thick, and visibility is limited to a few hundred yards.  The sun is nowhere in sight, but the enveloping orange hue belies it.  Every structure and vehicle is under a layer of dust, as if blanket by snow after a midnight dusting.  This morning, I dirtied by hands and then my slacks jumping aboard my bicycle.  The crackle of the gravel beneath the  wheels is the only sound.  The dirt in the air seems to absorb sound and lead to an eerie silience.

I just peaked out the door, however, and relished a view of the sun and cumulus clouds; a sign that the dust is settled, the wind in down, and the air is clean – or as clean as it gets, anyway.

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