Wishing Away the Smell

Project Room Full of Projects There’s a room in my house that smells like abandoned building. I know this, because I’ve been in many, many abandoned buildings. For the past few days San Francisco has had (while not quite “Biblical” as described by some) torrential rains, and the normally warmer drier Mission has seen as much as the rest of town. And I love my apartment; my neighborhood is great despite some evidence to the contrary.

It’s just that the place is a bit of an old girl, you know. She does the job… the job of being inhabited… just, sometimes she shows her age is all. One room at the back of the apartment I call the “project room” (pictured, to the left) despite the fact that no “projects” to speak of have been completed there. We just called it that when we moved in. Besides, it’s easier than calling it the “sitting slash storage slash plant slash kiln room.” It’s actually one of our cooler rooms and used to be outdoors in fact, which is why it has two windows looking in on it from other rooms of the house (err apartment—a personal history of single-family home residency is apparent in my mental constructs). Perfect RoomIt also doesn’t really hold in warmth too well which makes it not-too-handy for sitting in seats as far as “sitting room” goes, but which is pretty handy when Lynae’s kiln hits the 2400 Fahrenheit mark. Except of course when it rains and water starts coming in under the door, which doesn’t fit because it’s swelled up in the rain.  And as far as the rain goes it doesn’t stop at the door. The roof hasn’t started leaking… yet; however, one gets an inkling of why I might notice a little aroma of dilapidation. I think you kind of get the picture here: the room is neat for its uniqueness and its feeling of history, but has its disadvantages as concerns actually taking care of the place.

Well, I did want to live in an abandoned building once. I guess we ought to be careful what we wish for.

November has Come

It’s raining outside.
It rained yesterday, in the evening.
It rained all last night.

It’s November, and it’s the first rain since I’ve been here. I used to love the rain, used to slosh around in it in rain boots that only ended up keeping the bottom third of my pants dry. I grew up in Palm Springs (well, Cathedral City) and rain was was warm and small and benign. We played in it because it was an unusual friend. But I’m not in Palm Springs, and now I think is the rain has come for a longer visit. It’s the difference between a visit and a visitor. November in San Francisco means rain. It means Dave was right when he said that the rain wouldn’t come till November, and then it would come like young travelers to a hostel—more and more. But it’s now off-season in the hostel, and I’m living here now, and writing a novel and trying not to be too presumptuous about it. The rain has its own reasons… it’s cold and falls in big drops that make the whole city darker turning the streets to black rivers. It keeps me inside. There’s a reason for everything. That’s practically a cosmic rule. I’ll stay in, and I’ll write, and I’ll clean, and I’ll craft for myself a sort of life. And what more could I hope for in such a month?