Friday, November 6

It snowed today in Longmont, for a minute, with the sky halfway clear along the edges. Later you could see fat drops on car windows and plastic chairs where it had melted in place.

Driving down to Gunbarrel, where I hardly go anymore, it was already turning well into dark. By the time I walked away from my friends and the brewery, it was cold enough for frost on windshields. I sat in the parking lot for a long time with the Toyota’s engine running, waiting for the frost to clear and poking at radio presets.

At this altitude, it’s the season of low-angled light. Of color in what trees there are with leaves, a certain deepening and broadening of tones in the dying grass and the rocks and clouds. A contrast between down here and up there, where snow is accumulating on the peaks. You get those painterly sunsets, or rolling clouds of doom down off the mountains as the foothills get their first snows.

It’s fall, but the usual signifiers feel off-kilter. It’s too warm this late in the year not to notice. I picked a ripe tomato outside my front door a few days ago. (Tonight’s frost will turn out to have ruined a dozen more.) My neighbor and I sat around my front porch in shirtsleeves and flip-flops, sweating, moving chairs to stay in the shade. I had to find a hat to shield my eyes a little.

Maybe this is nothing. It’s probably well within the bounds of expected Novembers in a place as variable as this one. Probably. We talked a lot about global warming anyway, sitting there in the heat.

I got sick for a couple of days early this week and couldn’t do much more than sleep. Composing e-mail was somewhere past the outer limits of my usefulness. It scared me—last year by this time I’d been coughing and wheezing off and on for a couple of months, a cycle that in retrospect didn’t really stop all winter.

I’m getting on a plane for New York in a couple of days. Air travel and then the city, all incoherent and feverish, sounded like a special hell. I’m better now, mostly.