The smoke, it's as if we're living through the end of days.
The all day sunset light, abysmal, coppery and bronze hues on the lake, the sun, you can stare at it, feel the punishing heat, it blazes through grey smoke and still we're burning up.
The rough throats, watering eyes, the smoke sticking to you, nosing, nuzzling you, the headlights at night blaze for not a hundred feet before falling off, the sun, setting over the western mountains disappears into smoke long before it goes behind the mountain.
I'm drowning here, chewing every breath.
Scorched plants line the highway, not yet burnt, merely dried up and withering, autumn's come a few months early, yellowing grass and burnt orange and brown leaves, those still green crumble in your hand.
Leaving town to go to work, the crazy people in the street, lunatics, drug-addled, loudly arguing with cars, a guitar on his back, book in hand, silhouetted against the smoke, the beggar in front of the liquor store diagnosing every customer - "You're insane. You're not". These are surreal, fantastical images from movies like 12 Monkeys, any movie, really, that dealt with this, and I'm getting a de-ja-vue.
Then there's the outbreaks, speaking to other servers, restaurants already short staffed, at half capacity for servers, now being tested with the virus, one pub, half staffed and then losing over a couple of days 5 servers to the virus - 2 weeks off, and then what? How many more?
Rumors of other outbreaks. If, when it hits us we'll close. Our kitchen, almost completely unvaccinated. I follow the news - look for the news of the outbreaks here - none specific to Nelson, but 85 new cases in one day, all in the Interior Health Region, More than the rest of BC combined.
Today, my day off, noticing everywhere in town waiters are wearing their masks. These aren't just rumors.
The ash from the fires, raining slowly, a fine dirty film that stains the tables, chairs, cushions, air visibly too dirty to breathe and it settles upon everything.
And the restaurant, throughout it all we're getting slammed - empty, all day, then - just as the owner's son is planning his early departure (too soon! Too Soon!) we get slammed, fill up, inside, out, on the beach, they keep coming like it's like some sort of Zombie Apocalypse, vacationers at the end of the world, we're the only show open for 20 miles, coming all the way from Nelson to share their Covid, infect us...
It's no wonder no one wants to do this job. No wonder at all, and these unpredictable rushes, the smoke, pandemic, they've made it worse.
Now the owners want to make a plan, sit down with me, they want to stay open over the winter - if I'm interested?
I'm not, not in the least, this is hell and I'm working towards a definite end, it's been too much, too long, but - how to be discreet?
And - in any event - I've a ticket to a rave, in the valley, August 21, family reunion of sorts, expecting the kids, and even this is presumptive - how to plan anything when the world is falling apart, burning up, falling over sick and dying? It's impossible, my thoughts even at the moment are one day at a time...
- Category: Blog
Garage sales, over the weekend, a few things. Pliers, tools, a tool-box, a couple of old gauges (to be used in mixed media), and a box of old keys:
Mailbox keys, bike-lock keys, safety-deposit box keys, clock keys, cutlery drawer keys, padlock keys, skeleton keys, one (lower right) fashioned from a nail, some with interesting decorative features. Not as cool as the keys I once-upon-a-time picked up in the UK, but cool nonetheless. Now to get crafting...
- Category: Found
This morning wake up to the smell of campfires. For a moment - just a moment - I think to myself that the house is on fire. But it's fine. It's the world that's on fire.
The nearby mountains, invisible, eyes watering, you need to chew before you can breathe.
It's intolerable, and we're not yet even close to August.
Check the news to ensure there are no fires closer - time again to reconsider that flight bag - I can pack everything I own into the jeep, and probably should take an hour or two to do so - and I'm wondering - how long will the restaurant last in this? Soon, I imagine, there will be an exodus of tourists - and then?
Day to day.
- Category: Blog
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