thursday, august 27

experience of this 21st century so far
seems well in line with the proposition
that the development of significant computational power
may be a much less daunting task
than its subsequent organization

Wednesday, August 26

Outside, there’s a red-brown three-quarter-ring smeared wide around the moon. My throat feels thick, a little catch somewhere in the back. Coming home in the late afternoon, driving into the low sun, the blaze through the smoke looked like an overexposed photograph.

Everything around here looks like an overexposed photograph.

Sunday, August 23

Our plane descends into Denver International Airport and an obscuring haze drifted in from Washington’s burning forests. We step into the terminal and everything is momentarily new, unfamiliar. Outside, despite the smoke, the air is beautiful, cool and dry, easy to breath in. We aren’t on the bus 5 minutes before I catch the tang of dank, weapons-grade cannabis drifting out of an open pocket or bag.

Saturday, August 22

It’s a Saturday at the deep end of the summer. The Yankees are beating Cleveland 5-1. I wouldn’t usually know that, but today, sitting on a couch in the Bronx, I do.

I’ve been effectively away from the Internet for a couple of weeks. When I mentioned this to a friend he said let me update you, it’s still terrible. On review, he wasn’t wrong.

Saturday, August 1

For weeks now, between Nebraska and Colorado, I have been operating at a heat-induced cognitive deficit. I am never not sweating.

It’s the first day of August, and the first of August around here seems to me like the undeniable beginning of the end of Summer, which of course is the Summer-est part of Summer. The part where, even in a wet year, things begin to dry and curl at the edges. And somehow where the morning’s cool air begins to suggest the turn back into sweatshirts and stocking caps.

Between the Bar I Hate Most In The World Among Bars I Still Visit Like Once A Week and my tiny, weird little neighborhood, the Main Street tourist traffic to Estes Park is a relentless stream. Not quite wall to wall, but I count maybe 20 cars in a minute. It’s like this for most of the day in the thick of vacation season; simpleminded calculator math says that’s, what, half a million cars over the summer?

That could be true. Someone probably knows the real number. It’s a lot, anyway. It’s simultaneously the human life’s blood of this little place and one edge of a tide converting the Front Range into a megalopolis. And the Rockies into the jagged, picturesque graveyard of an ecology.

Not that I can say much. I came here, after all, and stayed. From a region my ancestors had already spent generations laying to row-cropped waste. I wish you’d all stop moving to Colorado, but then you don’t see me absenting myself from the place.

I went to Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Some decades from now, given the water and the oil hold, I assume that the zone bounded by Colorado Springs on the south, the mountains on the west, Ft. Collins on the north, and I-25 on the east will probably look a lot like LA County.

I guess there are worse fates for a murdered landscape. At least maybe by then we’ll have In-N-Out Burger.


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