Make Believe (brought to you by air conditioning)

Some sort of fantastic bangclapsmash brought me from a sound sleep to semi-aware consciousness at an hour that I knew intuitively was far too early for a Saturday morning. A look at my phone, after several failed attempts to grasp it from the nightstand (remember, semi-awake), revealed yes, it was 6:00am.  My mind began to work through what event such a noise could belong to, and, being in Beirut, there were a few options.  The thought of some sort of civil disturbance related incident did linger for a moment, as did the possibility that maybe one of the many construction cranes, the kind that sore to staggering heights to aid in the building of even taller buildings (modern engineering can be awe inspiring, more so to think of structures built centuries ago without the convenience of heavy machinery, but I digress…), had lost its load.  Finally, after what seemed like far too long, likely only about five seconds, the realization landed that there was a storm in progress, and from the sound of the thunder, directly over my building. I have loved storms since I was a small child.  I distinctly remember standing in the driveway watching one particularly amazing display despite the noise, wind, and rain (granted it helped that my dad was close by) when I was five, face upturned, reveling in the atmospheric mayhem.  While I did not leap from my bed at the thought of my first Beirut storm, it was sufficient motivation to stumble out to make coffee.

The storm, and the grey skies that followed, gave pause to the tentative plan to go to the beach.  But, more so, a sort of make believe was crafted for the day out of these errant weather patterns.

The present reality of Beirut is this: it is almost October 1st, and the temperature is yet to drop below 85. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are perks to this, such as spending today on a friend’s rooftop, soaking up the sun and making my way through the writing of Liz Gilbert. But, as a native of the Pacific Northwest, I am missing the crackle of leaves, wood smoke in the air, the necessity of jackets, sweaters, and boots, and the moody grey skies that threaten rain and seem to be an excuse for most to hole up at home with a good book or movie and something warm to sip. Though lacking the cooler temperature, other variables were coming together nicely; the clouds were staying put, there was the quality of fall in the light- a subtle, golden hue, a muted brightness I can recognize, but never quite describe, and good reading material beckoned.  Despite my general dislike of air conditioning, it is a perfect means to create an artificial temperature, just what I needed to bring my pretense to fruition.  Cold air circulating, sweatshirt donned, and hot chocolate in hand, a good portion of a lazy Saturday was spent absorbing story, pretending it truly was a fall day under a grey sky.