“It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas…”

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.” -Raymond Chandler, Red Wind

In the past week, a strong dry wind has been blowing intermittently through San Francisco. It reminds me of the Santa Anas of my childhood in Orange County (and my early twenties in West Los Angeles). It made me feel a little wild, certainly reckless, on the edge. The Santa Anas were suggestive, and violent: when they descended on us from the high desert, I would fantasize that something was about to happen – whether it was going to be good or bad, who could guess? It was not uncommon for them to spark wildfires in the parched chaparral.

Where I live now, there is almost always a cold, wooly slab of fog that sits atop our roofs and pavement. If it’s not beading the windows with mist in the morning, it’s sure to be there when I return to the city at night, like a dog waiting faithfully at the door. This wind has driven it away; this wind is not our regular marine visitor. Twice this week I have left and come home to clear skies gowned in various degrees of blue.

It is beautiful, but off-kilter. The season feels all wrong. The day after Beast was injured, a woman died under a train at my transit station and a five alarm fire could be seen smoking the air not far off.

This week must be better.


“Dogs are our link to paradise.”

“Dogs are our link to paradise. […] To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”  -Milan Kundera

Yesterday, a pit bull charged and attacked Beast on his morning walk. Carter had him on-leash, but the pit bull was off leash (in an on-leash park). Carter washed him off to realize that Beast had a ragged puncture wound (among other smaller wounds) on his shoulder. The vet sedated him and put a surgical drain in.

He spent the later hours of the day bleary on painkillers and antibiotics, his drain dripping blood around the house. It was gruesome. We put a t-shirt on him to absorb the blood at night, only to be woken up a few hours later by whimpering at the foot of our bed. He’d somehow managed to wrestle the t-shirt off.

The night was windy. We were awoken again by the scratching of the neighbor’s fence against our window. It was the least restful night I’ve had in awhile. I’d wake up and wonder if Beast was okay, and then it would be hard to get back to sleep.

How do parents do it? The sleep deprivation, the worry?