Red alert. A fire in Grimes Creek is filling the Treasure Valley with smoke. When you wake, it smells of a campfire built at midnight right outside your window. Downtown turns into a hazy wilderness. As does your mind.
It reminds me of the end of “Smoke,” a short story by the Boise-based writer Alan Heathcock, from his brilliant collection Volt. I went to see the film adaptation this weekend at the Death Rattle Writers Festival in Nampa, Idaho. The ending line of this story, as the film ended too, never fails to bring hot, stinging tears to my eyes, unbidden: “All that smoke was now just the air we breathe.”
And then that Billy Joel song rolls through my ignited tumbleweed mind: “We didn’t start the fire / It was always burning / Since the world’s been turning / No we didn’t light it / But we tried to fight it.”
Diane Freis bohemian beaded silk flower print dress (vintage 1980s) – $30, Acquired Again Antiques | Handmade Custom Leatherworks plaid wool & leather vest – $5, Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store | Frye boots – $200 | Geode gold necklace – $54 Bricolage
Record of the Day: “Time Changes” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet