★★★★ Fallen blossoms lay on the tiles of the lit-up apartment courtyard, open to the still-dark sky. The chill was the same as the chill that had come down after sunset, no deeper. Orion stood over the airport valet-parking dropoff lot. Out the windows of the 737, pre-light traced the shapes of mountains. Then red-orange spots lit the left wall of the cabin—higher up than the right-hand windows—their shapes clipped by the passengers' heads. A coppery glow filled the dimmed cabin, quickly lightening to gold and then on to white. The air on the upslope of the Rockies was "choppy," the PA announced. It was not so choppy that the attendants would stop serving hot coffee, just enough that they handed over the foam cups with a grim, admonitory slowness. Other people's weather passed below, hour by hour, till there were the fading green fields of the descent, and color in the trees bordering the highway. The clouds were cottony and stayed cottony even as the plane crossed through them, down into crisp sun on the ground. A white heron or egret scanned the waters below the AirTrain track. The sumac was red now. With the breeze on the train platform, the afternoon was a little cooler than the Los Angeles night had been. Back in Manhattan, with a stronger wind blowing, it was another step colder than that.
Monday, October 14th, 2013