A way up here, they got a name
for rain and wind and fire
the rain is jack, the fire is tess
but they call the wind mariah
You guys good lord! The wind blew up in the night, just as my weather app predicted it would. The kind of wind that cuts through every layer of clothing and into the marrow of your bones. The kind of wind that howls and moans around the corners of the house. The kind of wind that made frontier women go bananas and murder all their children.
The wind woke me up in the dead of night and I lay there wide-eyed, worrying that this terrible town council vice president we just elected will finally succeed in his ten-year quest to bring Wal-Mart to this town. Finally I got up. I decided braving the wind and the 20 degree temperature to get to the coffee shop would be good for me, in terms of walking through the fire to make myself do some work. Here is what I did in order to get to the coffee shop:
– get dressed in normal clothes
– put on wool hat
– put on wool hooded medieval-looking thing that goes over my head and down around my shoulders
– wrap wool scarf three times around the whole shebang
– heave myself into enormous heavy hooded knee-length wool coat that I got for $5 at Goodwill even though it was brand new and from J Crew. This is the best coat I have ever owned. Warmer than any parka, and voluminous enough to wear the thickest sweater beneath. Getting into it reminded me of the bear skin DiCaprio is swaddled in for much of The Revenant, a movie we drove to Vermont to see and which, spoiler alert/shocking news: I thought was boring!!! I’m as surprised as you are. I just kept thinking “Lord, what’s the point.” Then a drunk teen got up right during the scene where you-know-who does the inciting incident and DiCap is yelling and frothing at the mouth, and the drunk teen tried to go out the door but then keeled over flat on his back and just lay there with his feet propping open the exit door with light streaming in, and a bunch of bemused grownups sort of went over and heeled him upright and he sheepishly left. Later we were like, it is sort of emo that we all assumed he was a drunk teen–maybe he was someone going into diabetic shock or something, I don’t know. Being a teen is like living constantly in a boy-who-cried-wolf state. Everyone around you just constantly rolls their eyes. Oh suuuure, you’re having a seizure, riiiiight, run along sonny
– put on my huge wool mittens
– struggle the 20 minute walk to the coffee shop
– take off the mittens; shrug off the bearskin cloak; unwind the scarf; heave the medieval hood thing off my body; take off the wool cap; stuff it all under the table
Since this is a small town we are becoming regulars at various places. Everyone here is so nice and open to chatting. The coffee shop lady and I have been having a conversation about expanding your palate that has lasted several weeks. Today I bravely ordered light roast and said I still prefer dark roast even though I know it’s embarrassing. She said you should never be embarrassed about what you prefer. Then she tasted the dark roast and made a face and threw the rest of it into the sink and said “I JUST CAN’T DO IT”
We are also regulars at the amazing bar down the street, where you can bring in food and dogs. One night we went in there and a huge husky was frantically chewing up the festive spruce logs that had been put in the window for decoration, and everyone was laughing about it. They sometimes put a tv on the bar and play shit like Twin Peaks Season 2 on mute with no close-captioning. They play full albums only, but if you are having a conversation about music you loved in middle school and you yell for them to put on “Angel of Music” from Phantom of the Opera they’ll do it. They have a club where if you try 100 new things within a year you get a mug. This is how I finally tasted a “bitter,” like what David Brent drinks. It was okay. Anyway we go there and play Settlers of Catan with our 25 year old friends.
We are also getting to know several local dogs by name. “Hey Chewy,” we might say, while walking down the street. “Is that Franklin!” somebody yelled the other day at the park. Or you might see a dog you know but he’s with a person you don’t know, and you go “Hey, what are you doing with Jack??”
Everyone is coming into this coffee shop wrapped in various equivalents of DiCaprio’s bearskin.
Last night I was so excited to tell my old man about an article I read about steam heat, which I knew he would love, and I told him all about it and he did love it. STEAM HEAT. For example, did you know the entire Empire State Building is heated with only 1.5 pounds of steam pressure? And its heating system is like 100 years old. Steam heat! A legitimate engineering miracle! It was invented in 1850 and is still the way to go, as far as I’m concerned. And systems installed in 1850 are still functioning just fine today. Come on! The greatest inventions of mankind:
– large wine
– Leuchsturm notebooks
– steam heat
Okay money where my mouth is time, lets get to work!