ellinor (ellinor) wrote,

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Any city that has a "fire season" can't be ALL good.

Late at work again (which should come as no surprise to careful readers). But tonight is strange. Smoke from the Chatsworth/Topanga fire has traveled from outside, through the lobby, into the elevators and, airlock-style, dispersed into the arteries of the office building. The odor of smoke has infected even my windowless conference room here on the sixth floor, in this building that, with hermetically sealed windows and recirculated air, seems so impermeable.

Taking the elevator from here to the ninth floor, to check on a colleague, my eyes burned from the smoke.

And yet, the fire is many miles away, and we are far from the danger zone. The fire is at least 30 miles away to the northeast of here, and travelling ever Northward, having slowed somewhat as the winds have calmed. (Somehow those 30 miles still seem like a safe buffer even though the fire has carved a 25-mile swath of destruction through the greater LA area. I wonder why that is). I am not at all concerned for my safety.

But I am stunned. You know when the animals start to act strange because they know something is wrong, but they don't know what, and they can't do anything about it? I feel like that.

The question is, why am I stunned? This keeps happening. And it is confidence-shaking every single time. I have often been critical of Chicago, for being a city in which people die of cold in the winter and die of heat in the summer. But I suppose that, over here in my glass-house city that has "fire season" (not to mention mudslide season), I really shouldn't throw my stones so hard.

Still, I imagine that plucky little smoke molecule, travelling the 30 miles from Chatsworth to Century City (it probably took the 118 to the 405), whooshing into the lobby of the building, hopping the elevator up several floors, and sneaking past the card-reader into our hallways. And I think, my, fire is a powerful thing.
Tags: los angeles
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