September 2, 2009 by The Citron Review
I saw a commercial the other day regarding Rescue 911 or some shit, and the caption said, “95 percent of people run from disasters, the other 5 percent are police/fire/etc.” What the commercial neglected to mention is writers. We often run towards disasters, especially the natural kind that unfold so organically. So today I drove my Jeep up into the hills to get a good look at the fires that have threatened like creditors in the midst of a recesion; I ended up parking by Sacred Heart and watching the lapping flames make their way down to JPL (where I’ve always dreamed of working); the helicopters trailing tow lines from the bottom of their frames resembled dragonflies with lazy legs. The smoke–well you’ve seen it–billowing in purples and pinks and coppers, and finally, thousands of feet in the air, a stark white that must make the everyday clouds feel lazy. It was a magnificent site, heavy with peril and adrenaline and sublimity and melancholy; and I had to see it; not necessarily because I would write about it someday, but because it was happening, and I was close to it, and I needed to make sense of the smoke that’s been filling my lungs for the last few days, the hazy air that’s kept me and my son out of the public pools.