“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.