Brian Rogers

Brian Rogers lives and writes in southern California.

From Inhabitants of the Earth

Santa Ana

The famous writer was wrong about the Santa Ana winds, that before they arrive the ground feels unsettled and hot and that we have October premonitions of something bad coming our way. I don’t know anyone who thinks like that, and I have lived here for seventeen years. Even when the reports come on the radio and the signs along the freeway read “Red Alert,” we go about our business. We don’t whisper among ourselves or head for the bunkers. Like yesterday. I taught my classes, as usual, and stopped at the Grotto for a few good belts of Kentucky bourbon and went home and reheated some food and watched television and drifted off to sleep. Even when I heard what sounded like a neighbor’s garbage can being blown down the street, I did not think to myself, The apocalypse is coming, The end is nigh. The sound of the tree branch snapping sounded just like you would expect.

When I woke in the morning, the winds had settled to a breeze and I opened the back door to let out the dog (a dog that did not bark in the night, not even once). The air felt tropical. I stood and waited while the dog did her business. I did not think of premonitions then or ill-tidings or any way that nature might knit itself into our sleeves -- not even a few minutes later when the phone rang and I got the news.

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