The wind shifted and the city smells like a campfire again. Nothing exists without the smell of smoke and I wonder if this is what smokers live with all the time. Hell of a sense to cut off…
I’ve come to the Commons and ordered a Brotherly Love, a dark Belgian ale, bourbon barrel aged with cherries, to wash it all out of my throat. The nose has a tart cherry scent, coupled with a little Belgian funk. The bourbon flavors are invisible, with the cherries and dark malt engaged in a tug of war for dominance. The overall impression reminds me of plums, actually. It isn’t until the heat blooms near my belly that I notice how strong it is.
When it came out that a teenager from Vancouver had started the Eagle Creek fire, I had an online interaction that started with someone saying, “OF COURSE they were from the ‘Couve!”
And the immediate rejoinder to that was “Lousy Washington people stay out of my state.”
‘Hi, I’m from Washington,’ I said.
“That’s fine, just stay out of my state, lol.”
‘Ah, those ‘Murkia against Americans jokes, they never get old,’ I replied.
But my point was lost, as the follow up was, “Fuck the south. Am I doing it right?”
How the hell are we going to create a better world for people of color, women, the disenfranchised at large, if we can’t even extend grace to people who live in a city that is less than a 20 minute drive away?
And don’t tell me that ‘it’s just a joke, man’ because there are at least two elements to a joke like this: 1) It’s deft in its attempt to point out the foibles of humans (and there hasn’t been a deft comment that ended in ‘lol’ since the Internet) and 2) it’s funny.
The PNW is burning and people want to make sure that they can look down on someone else because of where they are from-content of character be damned. Maybe the priorities are out of whack.
If you live in this country, you’re one of us and it’s high goddamn time we started acting like we’re in this together because we’re going to get smashed if we don’t.
The Cassini spacecraft burned this week, too. The end of a nearly two decade mission to explore the outer rim of the solar system, specifically Saturn.
And we did that, too. Not just the US, but a joint venture between the US and Europe, including a module (named the Huygens) that landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, to send back data to us. Data that included the possibility of life, even way, way out there in the dark and cold.
When that mission was over, we instructed Cassini to hurl itself into Saturn’s atmosphere, to burn up soas not to leave any contamination behind.
How polite and forward thinking of us. A mission whose mental genesis started in the 80’s and found purchase in the 90’s finally paid off in 2017. A treasure we invested our future in-and still continue to reap rewards from.
Outside the window, just beyond my beer, a couple makes out near a signpost, short but smiling kisses that eventually have her getting into a car, him walking down the street. Dates are still a thing, even as Cassini burns.
Maybe it is because dates are still a thing that Cassini was able to burn. Hope lasts, even in the presence of smoldering skylines.
Today’s second pint goes to Airway Science.