There’s a glow behind the hills. There’s a glow on the hills, fire on the hills, the hills are burning.

There are birds above the fields. Birds on the fields, birds as dark clouds in the air, birds in the air, migrating.

At night I see Mars. A red eye to the South, unblinking. Never in my life have I seen Mars before. I see him every day now.

Last night I saw a red glow over the hills. Wildfire, in the canyons. Mars was glowing red in the heavens. A pinprick of light to another world that’s burning all the time.

Last summer I was eating peaches. Now I’m watching flocks of birds over the fields and the smoke plumes on the horizon. White and orange, settling into our lungs and staying there.

Every day I stumble through life as if in a dream world. What is reality? Everything seems so real when you’re buried neck-deep in it. I have so many perspective shifts I can hardly stand it. Raise my head above water and gasp the air in a valley filled with smoke. Wonder why the red eye of Mars is so close in the sky every evening. How much longer he will be watching me.

I am not awake till after midnight. I am not awake at all. I am in a dream world where everything feels strange and sad.

I am wondering how a human being is supposed to spend years and years and years of their life like this, or indeed, how one is supposed to live at all.

The fire is coming down the hillside.