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Bridging the Rip - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Bridging the Rip
Kim called me this morning to inform me that someone had just told her the parking lot at the J was flooded. Later, on her way to work out, she checked in to report on all the people transfixed by the spectacle of the Rillito rendered violent, one which parilous recounted in a manner friendly to non-Tucsonans who wonder what the big deal is. I didn't feel like braving the AC-less confines of Old Red to drive down Oracle for a peek, but resolved that I would make the trip in New Silver once Kim and Skylar came home. By the time they were situated, though, my urge to nest was strong. Luckily, my adventurous side persevered.

After picking up various necessaries and a DVD of the Miami Vice television show with which to relive some of the happier moments of my unhappy high school years, I crossed the bridge on Stone and pulled into the Tucson Mall's lot, parking as close to the Rillito as I could. There were dozens of people doing the same thing all along the normally empty rift -- "river" comes from the Latin ripa, but shares an Indo-European root with all those "r" words describing places that water can run through -- with the same festive attention that you might see at a Fourth of July fireworks display. The sight of that much flowing water is a real treat in the desert. It transforms the landscape.

We live in an extreme climate. What is normal elsewhere can seem miraculous here, like the few raindrops that Skylar's class went outside to witness after months of unrelenting drought. And what is normal here might inspire panic in those accustomed to milder conditions. We even have a "Stupid Motorist" law to deal with those people who, when they see roaring rapids where the road used to be, plough their cars on through in the hope that they won't be swept away. It's a strange place, Tucson. But I'm glad I've had the chance to get to know it well enough that I was as excited by today's spectacle as the people standing around me. For once, I didn't feel like I was looking at them from the other side.

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6 comments or Leave a comment
parilous From: parilous Date: August 1st, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's an awesome shot!

Also, I second your feelings. It was nice to see so many people out to look at the river... It was nice that everyone's brows were just a little less furrowed while they looked out onto the river with the amazement of a child.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 1st, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! I was hoping for something like that, which is why I lingered in Cost Plus until the sun was almost down.

"A little less furrowed" is an excellent description.
chefxh From: chefxh Date: August 1st, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

People here look at me like I have two heads when I tell them about dry rivers. (Trying to explain the IceBreak to them is right out.) I guess with all these rivers lying about up here, the concept of water on top of the ground as rare and precious is outside their ken.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: August 1st, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Gah! Miami Vice?!?! How many times do I have to tell you Remington Steele?

Ok, Rockford beats all. But still, Stephanie Zimbalist is my girl.

Damn I miss monsoon season--and this sounds like a hell of a one to miss.
schencka From: schencka Date: August 2nd, 2006 04:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I made an attempt at "Tucson Writing" on my LJ blog (bog?). --a
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 2nd, 2006 04:25 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ...

Oh, I'll check you out, then. I'd been keeping that world cordoned off from this one, but since you've been commenting here anyway, there's no point in maintaining that illusion, is there? :-)
6 comments or Leave a comment