Friday, February 29, 2008

Do you ever look at your house cat as it sleeps during waking hours and ask "What are your goals?"

"What are your goals in life, Lula? What are your goals?"

The city is struggling to recapture it average highs, flush its surplus precipitation and get its climactic affairs back in order before springtime arrives. Winter goes down kicking, a carnival of snow on snow, cold snaps and cloud cover. One front gusts into another, advisories give way to warnings, weekends come and go and always the next one holds the promise of warmth—those first days walking on the glistening gray sidewalks, the smell of well-hydrated soil and wet bark, a breeze that doesn't hurt.

It's been quiet, so I'm saving it up. A spring coiled, waiting for spring.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I couldn't see a trace of downtown from Fullerton, only a skim-milk fog hovering over, flowing between the brownstones lined up along Webster. When the thickness obscures even the next block I am gripped with a feeling of being somewhere, but not here. I am riding in a can clattering some 30 feet above street level, out of nothing and into more of it. I am at the center of a small sphere that dissolves before it realizes its own skin—like oil at the edge of water.

The ground has warmed considerably after some week or two of cold and snow. The melt overwhelms the city's old pipes until water, slush reach equilibrium at curb height and stand there, draining as fast as melting. I jump over a cold pond and my fortunate foot finds purchase on the slick sidewalk (I have seen others not so lucky—heel sliding on contact, then ascending as the upper body descends buttfirst into the streetside snowpack).

This week will be crucial. Storms threaten to replenish the ground's waning snow levels and a light dusting becomes less likely as the next front's full scope emerges on the Doppler. My arm already weary from snowballs thrown, I can't countenance another vast payload of ordnance without wincing in anticipation. How many times can one brave man lay waste to neighborhood punks before his aging rotator cuff fails him?

I shall soon find out.