december

Snow coats everything with a crumbly frosting. The drab winter-brown landscape looks magical again. But even the snow can’t right the construction site across the street because the construction site used to be home, and now it is Over Tilled Earth and Metal and Concrete and Four Ten Story Cranes and Loud Dusty Men in Hardhats.

The bitter cold pushes through the cracks in even the most well-insulated wagons. And in the wagons we never really insulated properly it is never really warm. From my seat in the kitchen I nod at every penniless writer of the last two centuries who has typed in fingerless gloves, hands cupped together and filled again and again with humid breath.

Breakfast is bread toasted on the wood stove and dipped in faux “bolognese” sauce from the promised land of dumpsters north of Cologne. (A tofu factory that regularly fills the coffers and mouths of the persistent.) Everything in the kitchen is frozen.

Last night someone told me that Christmas is this Thursday, and I didn’t believe them. “Christmas is still weeks away!” The calendar is against me. But the calendar is against us all.

0 Comments on “december

  1. Fantastic writing! For a second I was there with you in your wagon – I could see the moistness of your breath as you exhale….feel the cold in my bones….and then I remembered I was home – 65 balmy degrees. And yet I still have a fleece jacket on over my sweater – how do you do it?

  2. yes – i was thinking, what if we could attack their time-keeping/calendering infrastructure? even a low-leverage symbolic assault that would disable at least one of their rigid enforcement effigies could inspire an off-time palpitation of fear within the evenly-paced beating hearts of those bridled to the tick-tocking & daily sun cycles trapped in boxes trapped in moon cycle boxes trapped in bigger planetary movement boxes.

    this could be a siege on big ben. or that cursed TIMES SQUARE (oh the rigidness!) New Years Eve Ball. or maybe switzerland.

  3. Beautiful description of incipient hypothermia! Speaking of snow-coats, have you ever dumpstered a goose-down jacket, or, as a vegan would that be impossible? I’m somewhat conflicted as to what to do with the down items that i aquired prior to becoming aware of how the down was obtained, but i can’t seem to bring myself to throw them out or bury them…a lack of true commitment, i suppose 🙁

  4. Fuck yeah. Love the totality and universalism, the oddly comforting way in which we’re all fucked. Especially love “typed in fingerless gloves” and “But the calendar is against us all.”

    Cool header, kick-ass writing–that’s it, you’re on the blogroll!

  5. Whoa. All these kind comments in the ole comment inbox this morning was like a mail box full of letters and packages I wasn’t expecting. Grins all around.

    La Flor: The first winter here was mildly shocking, but an adventure, and now it only takes a few days of the cold before I’m hardened to it, used to getting dressed as fast as possible in clothes that feel like they’re made of ice (when I have patience I bring my clothes under the covers with me for a while to warm them up in the morning), used to cold finger and toe-tips. Right now it’s somewhere between minus 3 and minus 18 Celsius, which is kind of crazy, but since it’s snowing right now as well, is pretty and wonderful at the same time.

    marsu: Yes and yes. Fuck time. So much would fall apart without it. Which would be an occasion worth grinning for.

    fenu: I certainly wouldn’t call that a lack of commitment! I think its really important to stay flexible and un-dogmatic in everything, including my/your/our veganism. Rethinking it all the time and making what some might call “exceptions” (but are really just the small realities of everyday life).

    I’ve never dumpstered a goose down jacket, but I sleep under many goose down blankets that I fished out of the trash, and if I did dumpster one of those jackets I would wear it. My philosophy is that throwing away something that was once living, whether it be a steak or leather shoes or a down jacket, is super fucked up and disrespectful of that life. For me it feels right to wear that item (or eat the yogurt from the trash, though I give dumpstered meats to dogs), enjoy the warmth that it provides me, and give a silent nod of respect to the life. Whatever you decide to do the goose is still already dead (and that is not your fault if you wear it or not, you didn’t invent the goose down jacket industry) and its feathers are still warm and you still need to stay warm. A very personal decision I think, what to do with a dumpstered item like that, but that’s my take on it.

    Lauren: Fuck yeah! Thanks. Going to go check out your blog myself right now.

  6. Jill – Already emailed this to you, but in case others are asking the same… Yes, Christmas Day, December 25th is Friday. But the 24th, which is Thursday, is the big day of family celebration here, thus people calling that day Christmas, because that’s when the present opening/Santa stopping by/eating until you bursts happens.

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