outwait outrun outwit


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This evening was serene, the sky awash in pink and gold, the hills heaped with fluffy clouds. Serenity after last night's storm. I was out walking when Des stopped his car for a chat. We faced Benbo, cloud-wreathed, as the sun dipped behind it. Marveling at the sight, we both took pictures of it, as if we’d never see another sunset again. Roberto Bolaño wrote a sentence that perfectly describes what we saw, for another, fictional sunset: "The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower."

The temperature was mild. I was hot--this heavy coat, these gloves, this hat, too much. I remembered the old people in the clinic waiting room on Wednesday, discussing climate change: "Summers were summers and winters were winters; now it's all the same!" Unseasonable mildness here is unpredictability and danger elsewhere. Flash floods, out-of-control wildfires, frequent storms-of-the-century.

What is the ordinary person to do? I fret. Then I make an early supper: a leek sweated in a pan and seasoned, then spooned onto toasted sourdough and sprinkled with cheddar cheese, and finally grilled until the cheese melts and bubbles. It was a perfect meal for an unnaturally mild winter evening.


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