Saturday, October 5, 2013

An Explanation for my Craziness?

It's rained less than .09 inches in nine months in southern California and is utterly and completely crispy dry right now. The Santa Anas are blowing, the palm fronds are swaying, Sophie is having more seizures, and it's time for the Raymond Chandler.

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot, dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that, every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
Raymond Chandler, from Red Wind 


  1. I was just lamenting the very same thing. I just ventured from my house to the Pavillions, and during that short drive, FOUR people almost killed me with their cars. It's crazy out there. And I'm crazy in here. It's either the Santa Anas or menopause. Jimmy should hide the carving knives.

  2. Wait, am I thinking of this quote, and not Joan Didion at all? Or did she write something about Santa Anas too? Or was she quoting Raymond Chandler? I need to get out my copy of "Slouching Towards Bethlehem."

  3. Here we go. (And you probably know this quote already, and have possibly even referred to it here before...)

    "The San Bernardino Valley lies only an hour east of Los Angeles by the San Bernardino Freeway but is in certain ways an alien place: not the coastal California of the subtropical twilights and the soft westerlies off the Pacific but a harsher California, haunted by the Mojave just beyond the mountains, devastated by the hot dry Santa Ana wind that comes down through the passes at 100 miles an hour and whines through the eucalyptus windbreaks and works on the nerves. October is the bad month for the wind, the month when breathing is difficult and the hills blaze up spontaneously. There has been no rain since April. Every voice seems a scream. It is the season of suicide and divorce and prickly dread, wherever the wind blows." -- Joan Didion, "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream," from "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"

  4. I've heard that those Santa Ana winds are the cause of all kinds of madness and wild may be right.

  5. I love that - I can hear that voice :)
    Santa Ana's suck



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