Saturday, January 5, 2008


It was a remarkably warm day, so much so that I slid the patio door open, closed the screen and let the cool, fresh air fill the apartment. The cats basked in the sunshine and the breeze, rolling on the floor in a state of delirium. Duncan and I took to the park where we, too, enjoyed the sunshine. For over an hour we tromped through the slushifying snow, which seemed so pristine and strong only last night, but which has turned an unappealing industrial shade, not only along the curbs, but across the fields as well. The snow has souped down nicely and all those little craters our feet had punched into the top ice layer all week looked more like shallow bowls filled with the kind of watery potato gruel my former step-mother excelled at concocting. It was still difficult to make our way through the park, and Duncan kept finding himself bogged down in shoulder-high drifts which had taken on the consistency of giant gray snow cones, sprinkled with sand and car-fume exhaust. Grass has found a way to poke through several large spots, but it's turned muddy and flooded and we found ourselves cutting wide circles around it. The park seemed a rather bleak place because as the snow has pulled back it's revealed all sorts of nasty secrets its kept hidden for the past three weeks: the soggy, matted body of what I can only assume was once a squirrel, colorful fast food bags, nearly invisible water bottles, and the greatest joy of all, turds. Turds are everywhere. It seems my fellow park-goers mistakenly believed the snow would cleanly dispose of anything their dogs left behind, not just preserve it until the world defrosted and turned to slush, a kind of meatball soup.

Soup, everywhere we turned.

But at least the sunshine was warm and the sky beautiful. If there's nothing else to look at, you can always take solace in the safe majesty of the sky.

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