Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am not terribly Zen about this

I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts. This is not an entirely unfamiliar sensation of late; a kind of malaise has settled deep in my head, leaving me to wonder endlessly if I am coming down with something: the flu, perhaps, or a head cold that will linger for weeks. The most likely answer, though, is that I am simply under the weather. This is no mere turn of phrase in a climate where the precipitation can be measured in yards rather than in inches (about two and a half, for the curious among you.) If you refuse to venture into the rain, you run the risk of becoming a recluse who must order groceries online and designate a corner of the dining table as a home office. When the rain finally broke today, the clouds lifting high enough to see the peaks of the mountains, I wanted to take advantage of the situation. I went for a walk. It was a short one, the long way to the library, really, a jaunt to the entrance of the park and then back up the road. Twenty minutes. Twenty five if I was foot-dragging or listening to dreamy jazz. I hit the entrance to the park, and it began to rain. Pour, actually. Dump. In the time it took me to shield the books in my bag while I rummaged for my umbrella, the faux fur cuffs of my jacket looked like a cat who has inadvertently fallen in to a bathub. I was already wet, and so there was no harm in my continuing on to the certain refuge of the stacks. By the time I got there, my shoes were moist and the cuffs of my pants were dark halfway to my knees from the rainswept streets. I shook off my umbrella the best I could and went in, craving the quiet corners.

Every chair was filled. There was sopping raingear everywhere you turned; backpacks were shoved haphazardly under each table. The computer seats were taken up by tag-teaming teenagers from Mt. Edgecumbe High School. They were busy checking the MySpace and Facebook accounts that are blocked at the boarding school. There were bored ten year olds camped out in the aisle where the craft books reside, most likely because the children's room was full of damp, noisy toddlers and their harried looking parents. There was no peace to be found, not even in the usually deserted aisle housing the books on evolution and natural history. I grabbed the first few things that held even mild appeal for me - a graphic novelization of The Big Sleep, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and a collection of fairy tales by AS Byatt, about whom I am a little ambivalent - and ventured back out into what I was sure was a downpour.

It had stopped raining. I was grateful and mildly amused at this Alanis Morrisette display of irony, until I sidestepped a puddle by stepping onto wet grass and promptly skidded to my knees, coating my already wet jeans with a fresh layer of mud and grass stains and filling my already wet sneakers with water from the puddle I had been hoping to avoid. Clearly I do not understand irony, and the universe thought this would be a good time to demonstrate it.

My mood is not significantly improved. It would, though, if someone would come over here and cook some lentil soup for me...

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