I try not to think about it. I’ll give it a good thought just this once, and then I’ll go back pretending that it’s fog.
Sitting cross-legged on my bed, I look out and see a cropping of high-rise buildings. Apartments. Hotels. One of them has a sign that says Shangri-la in bright red lettering. I can’t see it right now because the haze has hid it from view. Sometimes I can. This is how I measure how gross today is going to be, if I feel like it. I try not to (because, ew) but it’s habit to look out of the window. How else do I figure out which outfit is suitable for the weather? Not by looking out of the window, not anymore. Layers, now.
Once, on a really bad day, people wrapped cloth around their heads, nose to neck, if they didn’t have a face mask. I left my face bare, and walked up the stairs really, really slowly.
Most of my American classmates have air quality apps on their smart phones. I think they take great horrific delight in announcing how unhealthy the air is on a particular day. They announce it with severe eyebrows and wide eyes, but their mouths gape open, lips curling at the edges. If they remember, they don’t tell me. They never remember.
It’s just fog. It’s just fog. Just like the green lights in the night sky are stars, the gray haze at morningnoonnight is fog.
Lovely photographic evidence:
(That red arrow? It’s pointing to a building.)