Monday, January 29, 2007

Laughing Stock

This evening I took a walk on Union Road in the bitter dusk, despite that nagging sore throat, and was very glad I did, even though I won't be able to feel my cheeks for days. I haven't walked out there since the weather got cold and I retired indoors to the rowing machine and the treadmill and my sentimental films.

The east parking lot at the Machine Shop is done, the landscaping too (poor frail saplings shivering through winter). Someone was doing some work in the Roundhouse tonight and they flushed a pair of nervous pigeons out just as I walked by. They flew up into the pink sky and I thought how much I like the combination of gray and pink when it's done right.

I hardly heard the light mix on my iPod- Jack Johnson, Royal Crown Revue, Norah Jones- as I passed Union Tank and found the same sounds and smells from summer evenings, but mixed with the iron tang of winter instead of the sage-and-dust bouquet of July. The U.P. tracks were lined with circus-colored freight cars: bright reds and mellow, buttery yellows, faded royal blues and mint greens.

I thought about turning back when my lips went numb but didn't and was rewarded with a fiery sunset. I didn't even care that my camera was in my other coat. You've seen enough of those.

One of my cats really likes licking a glob of petroleum jelly, our hairball remedy of choice, off my finger a few times a week. The other cat does not. Instead I have to smoosh the glob into the fur on the back of her paw, which she then licks off and seems to really enjoy. But tonight when I set her down, she shot off into the other room shaking her paw- like she always does, just flipping it like mad- and shot back towards me as soon as she reached the far wall. Not enough time to have licked the glob off, and yet, sure enough, it was gone. I looked but couldn't find it tonight. I'm sure I will sometime. It won't be pretty.

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