Thursday, January 21, 2016

False hope

Yo, California,

Can we just pretend the last month never happened?

Can we go on thinking the creeks had disappeared to a trickle, that rivers sank, showing the old ribs of long-forgotten wharves, the hills turned rock gray, the land became hopeless?

Because this — this heavy rain and snow, this gift of such strangeness — is really not helping.

Soon the I-told-you-sos who finally realized that maybe they shouldn't water during a storm, will open the valves once again. The holdouts will start watering again, thinking somehow the drought is over.

It's not. The ground is muddy, the puddles are welcome, the rivers swell and churn, but the drought is still here.

Call Industrial Light and Magic. We need the illusion of dry.

We need billboards blocking lakes, depicting them as sere beds of despair. We need fake sun and blue skies of linen. We need the clacking feel of thirst in our throats.

We need to embrace the three-minute shower, the ones we were taking a month ago, as a permanent practice. We need to keep capturing shower water and tossing it on dying plants outside.

We need to let yellow mellow, and make it law.

Because this — this gift of strangeness — will become more strange, not less, as we become more plentiful and demand more plenty.

After 166 years of this, we can't keep pretending we live in Eden, and making it look that way through wanton water waste. It's not Eden. It's dry desert and chaparral. We've just been extremely fortunate.

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