I drove in to a blood-red sun this morning. The reason being, you see, that SoCal is on fire.

I hear cheers from the NoCals.

Fires are a fairly regular event here in SoCal, especially with all of the mental giants out in the wilderness who think it would be funny to spark off a couple of thousand acres.

They do make for amazing sunrises, though.

Fires are one of those strange phenomenon that knock on your conscience despite their distance from you. You hear of an earthquake in Bakersfield, and you say to yourself, “Ah, hmm, that’s interesting, what else is on?” and really give it nary a second thought. This particular rash of fires is threatening homes of people I don’t know, in places I don’t frequent; but despite the impersonal distance, fire makes it’s presence known.

>There is smoke everywhere. There are dry, red eyes everywhere. There are occasional coughs everywhere. There are conversations everywhere… conversations with things like, “…haven’t seen it like that since…”, and “…saw the mountains glowing…”, and “I live in a place just like…”, and on and on with personal stories and anecdotes of all things burning. It’s eerie.

More importantly, it’s disappointing. Hopefully, no lives will be lost; but ways of life will be, and memories, and keepsakes, and those things that indicate and form lives; and all because of the hubris of a few selfish idiots.

I have a recurring “fantasy” where my house is on fire, and I try and think of what to save, and in what order. People come first, of course, followed by other living, breathing things, but what then? Invariably, the photos albums come to mind. Then my clothes for practical reasons. Then high-ticket items that I use a lot like my bike, cameras, and Palms. Geekily, I think of my computer… at least the CPU, I have all my recipes finances in there. “Speaking of finances,” I think to myself, “I should grab my file cabinet with all of the important papers that prove my existence.” After all of that, things start to get heavy, and suddenly unnecessary. My couch? I don’t need my couch in my new house-less life. My bed? Second verse, same as the first. What else then, is necessary? Books would be nice, and I’ll grab as many as I can carry, but by now the smoke is choking me, and I need to save my life while I still have it…

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