Down the hill goes merrily.

I have a poison boudoir where I keep all my poisons, garments, hats, shoes, makeup, but I keep the really poisonous stuff right here in my studio, mostly because I like keeping an eye on it. There is something exhilarating about looking at 19th century poison bottles, boxes, packets and bindles.

There is a mesh netting barrier that keeps the front covered in case of an earthquake, it would be sort of hopefully contained.

I am back on my night schedule again and it feels much better. We live in an 1870s house, there is an upstairs and downstairs. I’m mostly upstairs and husband is downstairs. Ever since we moved here 21 years ago, we pretty much stay inside all the time, we both work from home so not much has really changed for our day to day routine, except the masks & gloves.

I’ve been having recurring dreams from when we arrived in NY in August during a heat wave, and we ended up at the Port Authority subway in Times Square during rush hour. We were packed in like sardines just walking up the stairs, and it was hot as blazes and I remember the sweat just pouring down my back and then finally coming up out of the subway and finding out it was a whole different kind of hot.

And then I wake up to the sound of a steam whistle.

At five o’clock Monday through Friday, the Fort George brewery blows a very lusty steam whistle, and on Friday they tend to go wild and play out different variations, a slow build up and then at the end it’s just screaming and they drag it out until it runs out of steam and it finally dies. I always start laughing when you think it can’t go on any longer and then it does.

There are different styles of the steam whistle, depending on the mood of the operator and the day. Bad news days, the whistle will do one sharp, curt belch. Almost like a fuck you to a shitty day. And if something extraordinary happened that day, the steam whistle would play out a jaunty happy tune, one example I vividly remember once was shave and a haircut and then you are just waiting for it. And waiting and then finally two happy burst.

Seven days a week, the churches in town all ring their bells at noon. Someone shows up every single day and rings the bells at noon. And if there are ships parked on the Columbia River that day, they will helpfully chime in and blow their horns in unison.

And then on really special occasions, the boats on the river will blow their horns in different notes, making it sound like the tune in the movie Close Encounters. Tsunami man has a tsunami horn strapped onto his truck, he is prepared at all times in case a tsunami was headed our way. These events gives him a chance to test his horn and just let er rip. Then when it’s all done, you can hear everyone clapping in the darkness, and then everyone goes home.


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