Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chinese Yellow Dust Blues No. 48

Strap on your Hello Kitty respiratory mask: here comes the Chinese Yellow Dust. It's that muggy breath at your window, the fine tan powder that blankets your blankets, it's that sick yellow-brown glow all around like somebody's clapped a pair of sepiatone filters over your eyes. You step outside, into the cloud: where you should be accosted by the hyperactive Korean preschoolers at your doorstep, cat-called by the mulleted teenagers hocking loogies in the alley back behind the pig intestine shack, there's no such hassle today, you can drift for blocks and blocks and encounter no one, just a stray cat army-crawling under a Kia, a polyethylene bag somersaulting in the wind, even the windbags seem to be running from something ...

If you breathe in deep, you don't feel like you're inhaling anything per se, this Chinese Dust after all is not quite what you expected - see, you envisioned, oh, I don't know, like, swirling Saharan dust devils, beach sand being tossed around through the air, haboobs, etc. - while this is more of an omnipresent pee-colored fog, generally thick rather than particulately abrasive, not unlike the basement atmosphere of Your State University's High Society house, except sucking this smoke in for a while doesn't so much give you a contact high as it makes you queasy and itchy all over, then come rashes, hair loss, impotence, goiter, red-green colorblindness, sweet and sour syndrome, Andy Van Slyke's Disease, shingles, the odd schizophrenic fugue state ... the Chinese Dust kisses you on the mouth, leaves you with the dull taste of tungsten on your tongue ...

Fig. 1, 3: Ordinarily gloomy
Fig. 2, 4: Extraordinarily gloomy

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

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