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There was a desert wind blowing that night

31 August 2015

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

Raymond Chandler

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10 Comments to “There was a desert wind blowing that night”

  1. I smiled the minute I saw the first line of this, one of my favorite quotes.

    I always think about the meek wives.

  2. Terrific writing! Great smile at the end.

    But I know the Santa Anas. And love them. For me, they are bring a feeling of excitement, of something starting. Love those winds. Very different than Chandler’s take. 🙂

  3. I need to remedy the “I haven’t read any Raymond Chandler” problem.

  4. This is great writing, at least until the end, where the ubiquitous alcoholic perspective seeps in.

  5. I remember reading Redwind and making my girlfriend listen to me read that opening–five or six times in a row! (“Do you hear that? Do you? Come on, you hear it right? You feel it, doncha? Did it make your heart flutter like it did mine? Come on, you get it. I know you get it.”)

  6. Al the Great and Powerful

    Learn something here every day!

    All the time I lived in Ventura and then Santa Barbara (where I don’t remember getting much of the Santa Anas*) I thought Santa Anas were the California version of Kona Winds, hot and from the southwest… I hadn’t realized they blew from the interior. Not that I watched the weather much then.

    *I lived and/or worked in the Fog Belt along the coast, where we got the sudden Wall o’ Fog… you could be driving in sunshine and then suddenly you’re in a cloud. Made for nice coolness.

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