Friday, May 16, 2003

The air in Palo Alto today has an actual smell. I can say this because usually (at least to my Midwestern nose) the air here has an aggressive no-smell, as if it had been forced against its will through an ionizer, rendering it odorless and colorless. But today the air is palpable, faintly damp, as if the ocean were much closer than it actually is--a kind of late-summer-fading-into-fall smell, with the sky overcast and a chilly breeze blowing and all the students standing around barefoot in the grass as if they'd run out of things to do.

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