Sunday, March 4, 2007


In a country with 99 words for “overcast,” it only takes one sunny day to triple the population. With the people comes the trash and I spent the greater part of this weekend sidestepping litter and holding my nose. I guess people don’t shower when they hibernate and I hear turtlenecks can be ovens for baked odor. The blizzard that shut down the city over my birthday weekend made possible some late night adventures, some spectacular snow scenes and some fist shaking at public transportation. Between gangrenous toes and trains of little children in one-piece snowsuits with muddy bottoms, I was beginning to think that the descent of winter was a permanent one. And then on Wednesday we had our first glimpse of sun, which is to say a crack in the clouds. This morning I woke up at 8am to blue skies and the sensation of actual sunlight hitting the objects in my room. And the color! The streets may be stained with salt, but boy does this city know how to sparkle.

I got to experience this sparkle from the top of the city’s famous Round Tower. 25;- got me a ticket up the winding ramp to the top, but the journey wasn’t that easy. To begin with, I had to peel myself out of bed at 3:30pm when my friend Elizabeth presented me with the option of actually waking up and experiencing the day. You see, previous to her call I had been lying in bed watching episodes of 24 nonstop. I was completely horizontal, my nightgown all crooked and bunched, my headphones melting into the sides of my head, and I was drooling out the side of my mouth. My laptop was perched on the desk chair next to the bed and a growing pile of dishes and crumpled napkins told the story of my descent into the Kiefer haze like the rings of a tree. What I’m saying is Elizabeth saved my life.

This morning I was experiencing what I call a road trip mood. Not in the sense that I was craving a road trip (though I certainly wouldn’t turn down the offer were I was shown car keys, some boxes of Special K, mix tapes and an open door), but more like the feeling you get when you’re on a road trip and you’re staring frozen out the window. It’s a mix of nostalgia, restlessness, longing and wonder. And all of it is vague. What’s frustrating about a road trip mood when you’re disheveled in bed is that you’re not going anywhere and the functionality of your muscles is questionable. So is the functionality of that mechanism in your brain that says enough is enough.

So I got up when Elizabeth called. I didn’t have time for a full shower, but I washed my hair and face in the sink, brushed my teeth, put on some new clothes. Walking outside without mud, slush and ice on the sidewalk is motivation enough to keep going, so I hit a stride pretty soon and went with it. I was picking up momentum walking down my street. I passed other people and I raced them, taking big strides and staying focused. I tried to walk all day like that, with rockets on my shoes.

I know it’s been three weeks. Here are some of the more legitimate of the many obstacles to a proper update:

1. I have a paper for my ballet class due on Tuesday.
2. I have an oral and written midterm in my Danish class on Monday and Tuesday.
3. I have seven more episodes of 24 to go.

Once the gridlock of those obligations breaks up, I’ll be back on. If you don’t hear from me in the next 48 hours -- and I’m talking a full text and photo update of my life in the last three weeks -- call Jack Bauer.

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