The Moving Finger writes; and having writ
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. - The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Go here for media photos.
I sort of felt like I was getting out of Colorado Springs ahead of something terrible. The fires on the other side of Pike's Peak were slowly being contained -- in as much as they could be, given dry weather -- but there were reports of two fire bugs out setting fires on top of the ones that were already happening. The view of Pike's Peak had been hazy most of the time I was there, primarily because of smoke. As Cousin Mary was driving me into Denver so I could catch a bus to Kansas City and eventually, back through Minneapolis, heading eastbound into the Central Time Zone, the first wisps of smoke from the Waldo Canyon fire -- the first evidence of fire on the Colorado Springs side of Pike's Peak -- came into view. Her daughter Gabrielle lives there, so of course Mary calls her to make sure she knows about the smoke.
Eventually, Waldo Canyon had to be evacuated, and Gabrielle, her boyfriend Zach, and their two cats had to spend the night at Mary and Ted's. But I understand, as per Cousin Mary, the evacuation order has been lifted. The fire is moving closer to Woodland Park, a mountain community we drove through in the way to Cripple Creek. At this writing, as far as I know, there's been no definite evacuation order.
And while the rain that had been chasing me would have been a welcome boon, instead, I was pushed out by higher than average temperatures instead.
Killing time in the Denver Station, I found myself watching one of the several televisions. They were all on the Weather Channel... which is at least tolerable and sometimes informative television.
I have images of my dad, sitting in front of the TV in the house in Pinhook, watching the the satellite maps. I remember thinking "What does it say about someone who can stare at something so BORING?" This, Dear Readers, is what becomes of you as you approach middle age. And the truth is, most television is insipidly useless anyway... and at least the Weather Channel isn't. Mostly. Though it doesn't replace knowing how to read the sky for rain.Or an arthritic knee.
In addition to the fires on the mountain, there was rain on three corners of the continental U.S., including a storm off the coast of Florida that might turn into a Hurricane. This was of particular interest since My Dear Sweet Ma and The Kid were off on some touristy adventure in the Bahamas.
The best part of the time spent in the bus station, though, was listening to the interpretation of events by other people waiting in bus station.. or in any case, they were hanging out there, having formed a circle of chairs near some tables in front of the restaurant, near the 19th Street Exit. Originally, the conversation started with politics: the merits versus the mendacity of stockpiling for the coming apocalypse. One of them. One favored stockpiling. Another favored the time honored approach of waiting on the Second Coming. Another, a younger one, ranted about the Mayan 2012 calender and the impending doom that will befall the Earth on December 21st, claiming that neither gun hording nor praying will save anyone.
"Look at that," he said, pointing at one of the televisions. "It's on the four corners of the Earth. What do you think THAT means? Huh?"
Other than you clearly didn't pay attention in geography class and don't realize that the Earth encompasses more than the continental United States?
So much for youthful optimism. Then again, maybe it's like being relieved that you don't have to do laundry because the washer's broken. There's a sick blind optimism to hoping you're not responsible for the mess you've help make.
Personally, I think all this Mayan Calender business is a ploy by the Marketeers and Purveyors of Crap We Don't Need to get us to buy early Christmas presents. Fuck that bidness.
I finally got tired of listening, and of being within eye shot of the television. There was no point in me watching the screen, tracking whether Hurricane Debby would move east towards Florida and become a hurricane or move west towards Texas and become a tropical storm. Just like there's no point in worrying about meteors flying towards the Earth or whether the volcano that's under the western U.S. (Hello... geysers, people... think about it.) Will erupt someday.
And they will... probably. Eventually. But worrying never fixed a damn thing, anyway. For now, breathe. Drink a beer. Eat a taco. Do something nice.