Cascadian Way

Dampness that worms its way under every door, every window, burrows under clothes and blankets, clings possessively to sunstarved skin; moss on every roof, mildew on every eave. In the winter, the rainspout chokes on leaves and fir needles and the anonymous black sludge precipitated out from the highway, and a curtain of water covers the garage doors until someone goes out and clears it with a stick.

Nothing ever dries completely, because the trees you need to soak up all the water block out the sun. There’s never a day where you won’t see the sky at all, if you’re looking for it, never a day where the rain never lets up, but if you’re outside enough to notice you’re getting soaked to the skin anyway. Winters where you prune up like a bather, or where your knuckles split and bleed from staying too much indoors. Burn bans because the smoke gets caught in the clouds and chokes people; you can smell someone lighting a fire six blocks away, not that these streets are on any kind of grid.

Metal rusts, wood warps and sags, there isn’t a day where you can’t see your breath but never a week where the water freezes. The days snap nearly shut; you eat your lunch staring out the window, praying that it’ll still be light when you go to your car, knowing that it won’t.