Like a sociopath, the wind dropped heedlessly off the mountains, thinking only of itself, its desire to flood the plain with air that had pooled atop the Saddleback, not caring about societal conventions which declared that trees should not be chopped down as a whim. There was no stopping this foehn. You couldn’t face it, say to it “I know you what are doing”, and expect to see it running away in tears because you had seen through it and foiled its predatory plans. The Santa Ana just came on and on.
I left the condo at 8:45 pm on an errand to Radio Shack and the drug store: I returned between 9:20 and 9:30. The wind blew up fragments of leaves, dirt, and, unbeknownst to me, sawdust. I walked with my face down. Something stabbed me in the right arm. A mass of branches and leaves lay prone on the meandering sidewalk. This wasn’t a branch. It was the entire crown of the liquid amber. I rushed home, brought Lynn out to see the wondrous catastrophe. We stood next to the trunk and looked up. We could see the stars.
Today, when I got out of the shower, I saw a yellow bruise where the victim of the wind had given me a hickey.