Taught the subject for years, but this situation is it.
Justin's biological father just called him--they're talking now. The fire started Sunday or so. He's checking on us.
We spoke with the rest of the family (parentally) earlier.
We pick fights with each other, it seems like the easiest way to relieve tension, though we have realized it does not serve us well. You'd think given our intellect we'd know not to bother with something that does not serve us well, but we are sucked into the tiniest most miserable form of control we can muster--and that seems to be fighting with each other.
"You care too much, you're too emotional. You can't control it; you want to help too much."
"You really don't care? I don't understand? How can you not care that much? How does it not bother you more?"
And so it goes.
We live in the bizarre bubble I described earlier--no even windy though the winds fan fire north, east and south of us. Justin jabbers with his dad with great release in his voice. Meanwhile, I chug along listening to re-entering and evacuations equalize each other as we sit in our apartment, finally deciding that our need for flowing air outweighs our need for ash-free air. We opened the door and windows.
The winds are apparently dying down, which should be good, given that we are a bankrupt city that can hardly afford a natural disaster.
So we just got home from the sister bar of Urban Mo's. So, I feel (as Ken Kramer notes) that more than 250,ooo San Diegans have been evacuated from their homes. Two thousand people have been left homeless for now, at least, but the poor Ranch Santa Fe residents staying in the very expensive rooms in the downtown hotels are whining that they were dismissed from the hotel rooms because of a long-time confirmed convention. The city argues that we need the money that pays for the services that are fighting the fires, but the whiny citizens argue that the city should take care of its own.
We ourselves went eating and drinking at Baja Betty's.
We walked in the door, and I was shocked by the crowd. Taco Tuesday? Really? Just because of tacos and margaritas?
But then the bartenders explained--this crowded all day, and I realized, "of course--no one can go to work." We're drowning our sorrows. Drinking ourselves into disbelief and denial. One TV with the news--the rest with sports and other distractions.
And so we're poor and broken and pulling together and rich for being alive.
His biological father called. Mercy, let it be nothing less than relief.
Justin's dad has been trying to get through for four hours, but they haven't been able to get back to him, since the fires have caused all the homeless San Diego residents and emergency personnel to clog the cell phone lines.
We are here.
Trapped together forever.
In Hillcrest, where there is a fine layer of ash and virtually no wind (the Santa Ana's winds to blame for the fires' power), the bars are full, the restaurants are "not staffed for this"--the people are suffering drunken forgetfulness and forgiveness.
Se la vie.