I am settled in Tucson, and everyone should be so lucky as to have an Original Mickey Mouse Theory of Love.
On Monday afternoon we had a torrential monsoonsomething like three inches of water came down in an hour. I sat on the back patio and watched the storm blow in from the east. Within an hour we had gone from sunny to diluvial:
(That gray penal installation in the foreground is actually a perfectly nice elementary school, which I attended between 1988 and 1990.)
As the storm approached strong gusts of wind began to snap through the desert, shaking the leaves from the mesquites and whirling them in tight circles. The clouds must have been only a thousand feet upthey were much lower than the mountaintopsand the separate white and gray wisps roiled above my head with alarming speed, in several simultaneous directions, as they do in every sci-fi/fantasy film immediately before the glowing vortex descends and starts to suck up all Creation. The first shower of rain immediately darkened an already dim sky, and brought an eerie crepuscular quality to the afternoon. Birds veered unsteadily across the sky, whipping their wings against the gusts, and actually perched on the walls of houses in an attempt to escape the downpour. They moved beneath the eaves with a bizarre sideways gait that I had no idea they were capable of. After five minutes there was a bona fide river between me and the school; after ten minutes the power went out. In a box I found a candle that I had won in high school for some Spanish-proficiency award, and the hip flask that I used to carry around in Californiastill full of Bombay Sapphire, no less. Fortified by these, I continued to unpack my papers for another hour or so, as the last daylight ebbed, until power was restored.