Wednesday, November 16, 2005
In what seems like only a week the leaves went from sunset orange to afternoon gold and dropped away. Color gradually leeched out of the world, leaving pale tatters on the branches, wet charcoal streets, and dirty skies. I don't write much in my blog these days because I don't really go anywhere or do anything that seems exciting or conversational. Mostly I sit at home day after day and write law school applications, academic job applications, part-time work applications. My friends complain about classes to plan, papers to grade, books to order, and I remember what that feels like, but only from a faraway place. I plan freelance work, and money comes in, but only a trickle. My family writes to ask about Thanksgiving in the northeast, and I tell them maybe Christmas. Maybe. The days drag sluggishly on and nothing seems as if it will ever happen. I need a winter coat but can't decide what kind would do the most all-around work.
Now today the first snow dusting of the season sits on my car, its little bits of styrofoam in that valley between the windshield and the hood where the wipers sit and the leaves and twigs collect. I can see it from the livingroom windows. The wind is blowing hard. Inside is cozy, but also a trap, and I feel overcome with the desire to keep going nowhere, keep staying inside. The windows rattle softly. The midwest has become a land of little golden interiors, little places to gather in the dark afternoons, its windows spilling out onto what's left of the prairie, and I know, finally, that even if tomorrow or the next day happens to be warmer than this, the last surprising days of soft air and warm weather are gone and fled, and when they return, none of us will feel as if we remember them, and they will seem completely new, and deeply strange.