Washington’s On Fire

Through all of the broken clouds, smoke hung like high fog across the Sound. My friend and I drove back and forth over the bridge and stared at a skyline that was faded and burning on the horizon. “It comes in waves, y’know,” I heard a stranger say. “Some days the fire’s smoke gets here, some days you forget anything is burning.” Miraculously, I don’t think I ever forgot that something was burning.

Our windows face up, and we can see smoke blending with the sunset behind the trees. The sun beats red and orange–you’d think it was dying.

Seattle is always sinking slowly, built on top of itself like all of us–just bricks and bricks of maturity and age glued over a foundation of vibrancy and youth, but we’re still happy, too. After a long day of watching another friend grapple with recovering from a 14-hour stint of alcoholic Thanksgiving, wandering through the city–in and out of record shops trying to decide between a gospel singer and the blues–he looks to the sky and says with a sigh, “And… Washington’s on fire.” It’s then that I know it’s about us, too. Alive and blissfully aflame about something.

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