Sunday, May 7, 2017
Curtains of powdery dust race across the complex. I'm waiting for the bus, and have to keep a grip on the tub so the cover doesn't blow off, suddenly cargo of the sprinting veils dancing in the big, open field between the yards. The ground has been scraped bare for decades, and the dryness of early summer makes the fine particles light enough to be picked up by this stiff wind. A high cloud of it has blocked the mountains from view. From here it looks orange, but to someone looking through it toward the sun, it will be heavy, sinister umber. Drifts of the floury dust have formed in the corners of the entry way. A fine film has filled the sink, the counters, the inside and tops of the urinals. The floor of the visitor area is covered with mini dunes that grow as I watch. I leave tracks as I cross through the metal detector on my way to the car. The wind buffets the little car as veils of dust trail across the highway. Ahead of me, I can see that a fire has started somewhere in the mountains to the south. I can taste and feel the grit of particulate on my teeth. Inmate cells will collect and hold the dust until this hot blizzard passes. I can't wait to get away from the boiling, dirty clouds.