Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Smell of Eucalyptus Trees in the Rain

Uh, no . . . no, strike that. No, nothing about the rain. No, because if it were raining, that would mean that I was out riding my bike in the rain. No, no, no, no, no. Not gonna happen, to quote a former President.

Not gonna get a stripe of wet road muck up my back, not gonna feel the chill in my toes and shins and fingers, not gonna worry about whether I can see clearly through rain-spotted glasses. No, no, no. Not riding in the rain. That would mean I was getting my bike all mucky, throwing grit and wet into the chain that I’d have to clean up later. Wind, yeah—chill gusts blustering fallen leaves all over the road, pushing me back and forth across the asphalt on this light frame. But not rain.

No, definitely not raining, not as I ride. That’s not wind-whipped raindrops that feel like sharp sand against my skin. Eucalyptus trees smell just as good dry.

But if it had been raining, I would have noticed how the smell is different, just as pungent but more fresh, greener and less dusty, maybe with a foundation of wet clay in these brown adobe hills. Would have noticed. Didn’t notice. Because it wasn’t raining.

I wouldn’t be out there riding if it was going to rain on me. No, sir. No way.

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