December 5th, 2004

caillebotte_man at his window

Wetlessness

The sky has chosen to clear, rather than drop anything on me. Thus, for the moment, it remains unlikely that I will have to fetch the snow shovel from its lair, and the Sunday newspaper has arrived and will not get wet if I leave it lay for a while. Or is that "...if I leave it lie for a while?" It is a newspaper, after all.

Each time I go out to look at the stars, and the soft light of the waning moon, icy breezes insinuate themselves under my clothes. I don't remain out for long, despite the pleasant scene. I am trying not to get chilled and risk having some virus take advantage of my state. I keep in mind that dental appointment Tuesday afternoon, and the fact that I have no desire to sneeze while one of those pointy devices is in my mouth.

But it is a lovely time of year, freezing or not. Bare, twiggy trees have opened the sky, and cast their shadowy filigree atop the pale tapestry of their own fallen leaves. The long nights are quiet, and I can pass the time mostly undistracted. The cat remains indoors, napping near a heater vent, and I need not listen for fights that must be broken up. It is easy enough to find the year's decline enjoyable, as long as the snow keeps its distance.

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caillebotte_man at his window

Nightfall

Gray-blue evening has gathered a mass of cloud, and all the sky looks frozen, like a great dome of ice. Silhouetted, the tatters of foliage remaining on the oaks resemble hundreds of small, dark and silent birds perched, unmoving, on every twig and branch. The lawn, lately raked, has already been flecked with yellow mulberry leaves, soon to be joined by those few still clinging to the branches. With this, dusk creates the illusion of a dim reflection in a mossy green pond. The chill December day turns toward starless night, and the oaks for a moment are smoke, frozen in the act of drifting from dark, impassive pines. All the scene fades, and the world vanishes. I close the drapes, and am contained within this small and cluttered cube of lamplight.