Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rainy Sunday at the Library

It is pouring rain today.  I mean POURING.  Sitting in my car in the library parking lot was both delightful and cozy, and oddly menacing.  I felt a few times as though I ought to be feeling anxious about the sheer quantity of water streaming down my windshield and completely obscuring the remainder of the view.  Where was the high ground?  Shouldn't we be making for it?

But then the library doors opened, and I completely lost that uneasy feeling, being completely protected from the torrential rain.  Facebook is much more important than survival, no?  Humans!   Gives me an idea for part of a post-apocalyptic movie -- keep the humans in their little homes by maintaining their programming, with no news to scare anybody, and then they can all be gassed, or plugged into the Matrix, or made into Soylent Green, or whatever it is you were planning to do with them -- they won't even know it's happening.

Whew -- a young man in a nearly visible cloud of cheap cologne has just seated himself behind me.  Arg -- that is a wretchedly awful smell - and so thick and chokingly pervasive.  Okay, I gotta go.  Can feel my allergic reactions gearing up to react!  That rainy atmosphere will clear my head -- clean and shiny rain-washed air is very appealing now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I just saw an odd skirt walk by, with its wearer and two little dogs.  It is raining and the wind is blowing, so the skirt was doing some whipping around, and took several seconds of good hard staring before I was sure what I was looking at.  It was a full-length skirt, and not very wide, so it was very likely to need a slit up the back, for the ease of the walker within.  That or very stretchy material.  But this one had a fairly wide but not very tall rectangle cut out of the material, at the back.  Shades of Hayley Mills and The Parent Trap!  But it looked to be working just fine, although odd-looking, as I mentioned.

I'm at the library, with music playing in my headphones.  Thijs van Leer. It is barely raining at the moment, but it is that familiar sort of Portland rain, in which there is much more light than one would expect.  As though the overcast layer of clouds, instead of blocking the sunlight from reaching us, is instead magnifying it as it diffuses it, so very white light, without any surface brightness, if that makes sense -- nothing to make you squint.  And then there are all the tiny raindrops fastened to everything, which are reflecting and increasing the magnitude of the light.  I'm sure a meteorologist would know the one word definition of this state, and I do not, because I'm not a meteorologist, Jim -- I'm just a pluviophile who has lived here all her life. 
Next stop on this train of thought: last night I was driving home in the rainy dark with no windshield wipers (long story) and I was having to be much more invested in the moment-to-moment act of driving -- aware of every shift in the pools of fragmented light from headlights and streetlights and neon signs, because each one, as it passed over my windshield, gave me a moment of reflection through which I could not really see.  At first this kept panicking me, and I was bobbing around in my seat, trying to find some angle through which I could see, but not being able to see, and feeling like slamming on the brakes, and then the reflection would pass on over my head and I could see again.  Until the next time. 

But soon I realized that I just needed to take note, each time this happened, of the street in front of me, so I could be aware of what I was going to be passing over in that split-second of non-seeing, and the panic died away.  Until I found that I was singing loudly along with the radio as I drove.  So I had passed through difficulty, panic, problem-solving, and gotten all the way to acceptance, to the point where I was performing the new method of driving so easily that I could spare enough of my brain to belt out, "Diamonds on the Soles of My Shoes," with all the fancy bits.  The human brain is an amazing thing.  And I've been thinking about that a lot lately, since I re-watched Lucy twice this past weekend.
Okay!  So that is what I am thinking about just now.  Aren't you glad you asked?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

...and I feel fine!

Hey, I'm the first and only person in the library! Odd.

If it weren't full of staff people, I'd wonder if the Cylons attacked or something. The Rapture. Or possibly Winter Came. The Pax! Ice-Nine! Or what was the name of the flu in The Stand...? One of those things.

So the weather is once again behaving itself, like a well-trained dog, instead of the out-of-control-gorilla it occasionally morphs into. Just to remind us -- and itself, probably -- of what it is actually capable of! But cars are once more charging around as though the earth exploded into being millions of years ago just in order to provide them with lanes to travel in. What a piece of work is man!

Speaking of oddities of this sort (kind of), yesterday was a day of regular mail delivery, and yet no one in the whole apartment building got any mail yesterday. I was sitting and watching the mail carrier go up and down the street -- pushing her little cart and going up and down people's steps -- and when she got to our steps she paused for a few moments, and then rolled on by. !!! Nobody, of the sixteen people who live there, got so much as an ad for pizza addressed to Resident. Bizarre!

In spite of these obvious signs of the end of the world, unless the third sign occurs (because things like this always happen in threes, right?) I'm going to go on about my tiny little life and enjoy my day off in my beloved city!

So I guess some people's holidays go all the way to Monday -- Monday the fourth of January. I was assuming that traffic and all would go back to normal this weekend -- but no. Still crowds of people clearly enjoying themselves, still very few cars going anywhere except shopping malls, and still deathly quiet in the mornings.

Except for this morning! I got up at six as I always do, and was drinking coffee in my chair, when I heard a sound like faint and far-off crying. I listened hard, since I never want to be a person who says to themselves, "Gee, that sounds like someone being murdered. Guess I should turn up the sound on my movie."

 I couldn't pinpoint it, and I went out to the hallway to listen. Nope. Returned to my chair and my cup, and then heard something again. I went to the bathroom window and looked out. Still very dark out at six-thirty, but there are streetlights, and I could see and hear the young woman very well. Drunk, angry and really demanding. She was crying in loud howls, on her cell phone, and yelling,

"Please! Please, please, plea-ea-ea-ease! I know I didn't! I will next time, I PROMISE! I know I promised last time, but this time I will! I PROMISE! No, no, no! You can't, you can't, please, please! Ohhhh, boo-hooo-hoo....."

It was very cold outside, twenty-eight by my little thermometer, and she had clearly been out all night. I watched as she stamped her feet in furious despair at whoever was being so firm on the phone. She was wearing knee-high shaggy fur boots, light-colored fur that really caught the streetlights. Loud sobbing commenced. I opened the window.

"Hey," I yelled. "Do you need any help?"

She whirled around to face the building.

"FUCK! YOU!" she screamed.

I closed the window.

Happy New Year!