prompt: consider the weather
I stood where the asphalt cracked and the hop-scotch line was broken. In the distance the clouds collected and built their strength. When they came together, the sunlight died within them. White pillows turned to black flags and the wind pushed them over the neighborhood, like a body being dragged to the west end of town.
Insecurity climbed up the back of my arms from my elbows and stung against the casual breeze.
This is what it felt like to be small, watching the world move and knowing that it meant something, that it brought something. The frightful connotations of a black-hearted sky were still playful. It was as close as you could come to true dread. It was witches and monsters, and things that were emboldened by the darkness. It was a stage for make believe, when Halloween was not a night but a season in which you believed you in possibility.
Perhaps rain would follow.
The air is hot now. It breathes into your clothing well into December. The sky is that awful, lifeless view. “Beautiful weather,” one person will say, and in two words reveal they how much they don’t understand. The seasons are gone. Possibility is… well, when every day is the same, much less is possible. But the days aren’t the same. They’re hotter. They’re sunnier.
“Can you believe how hot it is?” a woman says to me.
Of course, I can. The dark clouds are gone, make-believe doesn’t happen. The only real danger is tempered with the slow reality that it all simply gets worse, less illustrious.
Gloom comes in sunny shades. Because the playful weather of imagination is gone. Christmas is eighty degrees this year, and it will be eighty one the year after that. And where I once stood on layers of poured concrete and felt like I was in the audience of a beautiful production, I’m now the witness to a slow and volatile death.
Not the death of the planet, but the death of our right to live here. My daughter doesn’t know the simple joys I had. I do not know the struggles she’ll face as our land dries out and becomes increasingly hostile. Neither of us know what their will be left to inherit.
“This is why people live in San Diego,” someone says looking up.
There are too many transplants in this city to know the difference.