I know when many people think of San Francisco and the sun we have, they have a picture of some Annette Funicello Beach Blanket movie bright, highly polished sunshine. And it’s true, we get that a lot, but even here, the light in autumn is a mellow, low gold.
Or it was until a gigantic wildfire settled in less than 200 miles from here and belched smoke all over us. At the same time, the wind that blows off the Pacific and always blesses us with clean air has taken a break so the filth in the air just sits here. Also, people have died, so it seems worse than cranky to complain about air quality. Nevertheless, I will do so. I haven’t been able to open the windows for a week without the apartment filling up with so much smoke, it smells like I have a small campfire burning in the living room. Going out for a walk chokes me and makes my eyes run like a faucet. Some people react to this by wearing masks. I’ve seen everything from a bandana tied across some guys face up to respirator kind of equipment they use in car painting shops.
The local news about the fire always contains some boiler plate kind of language about dealing with it which always warns if you are over 60, have a compromised immune system, or have a history of pneumonia or bronchitis you should just huddle indoors. I go through that list and think “Check. Check. Check.” Still, eventually even a shut in like me has to venture out. So, in just a minute, I will be heading out for coffee with our old friend The Fashion Sensation.
Maybe I can hold my breath.