Smoke

cough. cough. cough. ahem.

I am feeling super lazy, so for this post I decided to illustrate the sky above Los Angeles right now. It’s filled with smoke, even though the fires are miles away. It’s like living inside a campfire, except there are no marshmallows coming.

The CDC says that being outside right now is like smoking eleventy-million packs of cigarettes (I’m still fact-checking that number because it sounds a bit high). If that’s true then all we need now is a ginormous keg of cheap beer on the bed of a pickup and it’s every party I went to in the 80s.

Campfire smell in Los Angeles isn’t exactly new. Every time there’s even a small brush fire in Topanga, the air down here smells like a scene from Apocolypse Now. This time, the closest fire is almost 80 miles away yet the sky has been a smoky haze for a week. We drove through DTLA on Thursday and I wondered if that was what it was like to drive the freeway in the ’70s.

I was pretty well into adjusting to the Way Things Are 2020®. We re-learned out how to shop for groceries, liquor and toilet paper. We figured out that since nobody can see under your mask, we save money on lip color. I figured out how to run in my neighborhood while avoiding human contact. We even managed to get some hiking in before it got crazy hot. We are resilient! We can adapt! We will figure this out! We will (opens front door)…cough.. we will… cough cough… we… cough…

we… cough

We are going back inside!

Yes. The Inside. Indoors. Where the couches and potato chips are. No sunscreen or mask required. The clothes are wrinkly, the legs are unshaven, the bar opens at noon.

Now I know what goes on in a dog’s head. You’re outside, you want to be inside. You’re inside for three minutes and suddenly all the interesting things are outside. The toys are always chewier on the other side of the door. I feel like a dog. Bark! Let me out, no, let me back in. I think there’s an earthquake coming. It’s 2020, haven’t you looked out there?

My 50th birthday is coming up soon. I’ve already abandoned the idea of any sort of celebratory gathering with humans outside of our immediate family. But living half a century with all my limbs intact and staying out of prison seems like an accomplishment. So I’m trying to find some significant and meaningful way to mark the occasion.

Suggestions welcome.

3 thoughts on “Smoke

  1. My wife and I celebrated our birthdays over the last two weeks by going to our favorite independent restaurants that offers outside dining.

    Father’s Office in Culver City
    Bread and Barley in Covina

    We basically keep our masks on whenever we’re not actively eating or drinking. Partly to make a passive aggressive point to the other but also to address the reality that anyone could walk by and be a potential spreader.

    In particular we make sure to be wearing a mask when we speak to the server because they’re already sticking their necks out and it’s sign of respect to wear a mask in my opinion.

    So for you birthday have fun, consider eating outside and leave a good tip for the server. 😀

    1. That’s exactly our modus operandi when we eat out these days, too (which is rare).

      We also have an anniversary coming up the week after, so I think we may try Hinterhof L.A., a vegan German place on the East side. They have outdoor seating now, so it will even be a bit like Oktoberfest.

      All that said, and considering the air quality, your idea of staying inside with a nice beverage sounds really good.

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