Monday, December 21, 2009

The Snowing Of Never Knowing

Snow had begun to fall the last few days. It wasn't quite Christmas, but that consumer-buzzing, rushing, fake-jolly Christmas cheer was all about. You could see it; on the shopkeepers' faces, almost like it was a plead to buy; spend, feel something, live. I was keeping on at a friend's place in the nearest big city when the snow started. I'd heard by call that there was a light snow, the first flecks a-fallin' the night before I arrived. I was asleep the mid-morning when my friend awoke beside me and stood up to look out the steamy balcony door. She remarked, excitedly that it was snowing. I drowsily replied, querying, and dragged myself up and out to have a geeze also. It was a fine sight, all that soft white, light, feathery snow; swirling about and drifting in from the same marshmallow coloured clouds. The rooftops within sight were dotted too, some covered, in thick white layers, neatly stacked on the roof shingles. It was exactly like being a tiny little plastic figure glued to the ground of one of those shake-up Christmas paper-weight domes. Someone had the thing by the grip and was pretty fucking vigorous on it alright. We stuck our heads over the small balcony ledge and out put our tongues, trying to lick the snow from the air, waiting for a tiny dot of the frosty magic to land in our mouths. It was a childish, giddy, excited feeling. It was the first time we'd seen the snow fall. It was the first time I'd felt the romance of Winter scraping years off my life, I was ten years old again and suddenly, in that moment, life seemed simple and wondrous and I did wish for the feeling to stay. Though, as always, the day beckoned.

Not completely dressed and aware every furthering minute of the crisp and cold seeping through me I went back inside and got under a hot shower and dressed my hair and self for the day. I was stepping with anticipation to get outside and be truly surrounded in the evidence of wind and gravity and December. When made it outside, plenty layers clothing me underneath my stretched black jeans and tired, red leather motorcycle jacket, I delved my pockets for a crumpled pack of cigarettes and shook one free with my gloved hands and after a couple of clumsy attempts lit the darn thing between my icy lips. Exhaling, it was almost as though I wasn't smoking, as I watched the hot breath escape in front of me, more or less the same as when I first stepped outside, heating the valley wind in my lungs and pushing it back into the mid day.

I was strolling now, a pep in my step as melody filled my ears, as often it does when the world immediately around me turns me on; writing and composing me that soundtrack to a wonderful moment. I sort of heard The Band, playing with Little Feat and Jackson Browne crooning softly along. As I neared the roads, busy with cars that looked like they drove out of igloos, they pushed the breeze past my ears and I swear Tom Waits' rasping grasped my ears for some seconds or so, reminding me that the cold inspires loneliness. And I sure felt it, for the time of year called upon a gathering of those close to you to be closer and warmer and I had a near nothing of that. Just my memories. That's what I had. I kept picturing my Christmas' past and the ways I'd learnt to be without bother by the facade of Saviour's birth's celebration. Back home, Christmas meant the heat and that meant escaping the heat and that meant the mountains. The tallest mountains as close could be. Christmas'd grown to be my time of reconcile with mountain roads, sunsets, long afternoons, and lapping up my favourite luxuries: take away coffee cups with alright coffee, mixed packs of cigarettes up that high altitude, and conversations, learning and knowing. Oh the knowing and getting to do so. I'd not spent the most recent Christmas' with the same persons or person. I'd actually been with almost strangers. People I didn't know what connected us but could feel the yearning to get so.

And about this time, filled with all this thinking and longing I stepped into a dim cafe down the bottom of the hill near the city's station and get-going hub. It was a quiet affair for an early afternoon and I got myself a seat and some coffee and a book from my satchel. It's easy to waste away the hours, sip them back in black brew and watch them wisp away on the tips of cigarettes. I guess that's the magic of heating and a cozy spot when the weather's a downward pull of smiling and not knowing so sure why outside. I got on my laptop after a bit and advantaged myself of the wireless network, high speed, world wide web of pseudo connectedness and talked to a few people that I didn't really need to and looked at a bunch of stuff that didn't make me really feel anything. I just kept noticing my attempts to escape and swirled endlessly in my contemplation of what was I doing with my lead up to holidays and why I felt such obligation to be a part of something. Mm, being a part of something, such a tiresome affair. Needing and wanting and trying and maybe, maybe feeling something.

It did occur to me, with a sly grin creeping across my now rosy face, that a perk of this cold outside, get inside to watch the weather mode was the inclination of company to create their own heat and magic. Having sex. It sure was another experience, for some reason, knowing what was beyond the glass and walls of a small space and making something corresponding, yet opposing inside. Fucking and keeping warm was a sure special feeling I was growing addicted to, and knowingly so, anticipating the wistful feeling of the Spring as the snow melts and so does the exactness of the nearness that yearns when two are cuddled close and sheets and blankets tangle and move like waves, pulled by gravity and crashing.

I'd closed my eyes, I realised, and had that kick in the head of awareness of surroundings and looked consciously around me and then down at my quarter still filled coffee cup. I sipped it and it was cold. That's what time does, what waiting does, what distraction does. It turns your warm spell of liquid content to distasteful, cringe as you swallow, light another cigarette to mask the taste, not at all satiated blend of mellow hope and distraction. Ah well, at least with coffee, the beauty is you can order another pot. Love isn't as easy so. I perked up at this thought and the carrying away of soft focus montage memory of when I last felt warm and loving arms. Everyone always talks about Summer love and it's in movies and shit too. I don't quite get why Summer love is so romanticised and how people identify with it. I don't see love as something that happens in heat, in warmth, in minimal clothes and sweat and stink and that fades away with the falling leaves of Autumn and turns bitter with Winter. It's the inverted for me. I think for most people. Love happens in Winter. We're conditioned to coalescing in the cold and neediness when strength wanes.

I'm a bear and love's hibernating in a cave and you spend the pending seasons gathering and saving up and leading up to it and growing fat with hope and desire and readiness and then you take to the slumber of love and have a hazy dream that swifts by all too fast and when you wake everything's changed and outside isn't the same anymore, even though inside is and you don't know where time went but you know you're thinner and more worn from it and though there's some rejuvenation and content, that's all in your head, just sweet dreams telling you that you did the right thing and that you tried your best and the first taste of the fucking berries or whatever is like that bittersweet ripple on your tongue, through your body that there's another time ahead and I'm that bear that thinks love, well there's another Winter ahead and I only remember the way I felt the last and start wandering, thinking and living for the next. But I think, I'm not a bear, 'cause surely bears are something of a tough, sturdy, brave creature and I'm actually not that at all.

I lift my comfortable self from my abode of away from the awareness of the day and ash spilling off my still-lit-cigarette, pay for my moment of distraction and contemplation aids and flick the lengths of my scarf back across my neck and shoulders and swing out into the even colder of the dusk and drop the butt of my smoke into the mounded, hard snow and watch it extinguish. It's just another day, another spent way, another nothing to feel or say, excursion towards the holidays. I think Christmas will be lonely. Likely cold, and bitter and dreamy in the anticipation of when I'll feel okay and warm again. So far, away here, it's cloudy and windy and smoky in the valley. There's no seaside breeze that cools the humidity off the brow. I don't have a car and winding roads to climb to a sigh of it'll all be alright. The snow's still falling and I can hear Bob calling me now, telling me of a girl who'll give me shelter from the storm. And I know the storm's not the swirling snow and the ice-brick roads or the false hope on stranger's faces, but truthfully it's me. I'm the snow storm plowing through the valley, colouring the season and masking with loneliness everything in sight. Pep in my step, pretending to myself that I love this Wintery everything, knowing that self-convincing is the key to continuing I finally arrive at my friend's place.

It's empty still, their day not over and mine never begun. I spark on the heater and light a cigarette inside, I'm sure they'll mind, but I'm all for lack of caring and I look out the steadily steaming glass and everything just keeps passing; swirling about outside and I have a moment, where I think maybe it'll pass. Maybe my contemplation of all this disdain will wander off with it all too. Maybe, eventually, my feelings will just melt like the snow and pool at the bottom of roads and on the green grass and I'll only ask why isn't it cold anymore and commence my hate of the heat. I do love Winter. Magic is about everything you can't see and won't stop wondering about, knowing it all the while an illusion. Anyway, I think, at least I had that beginning moment, that bliss of magic, wondering why everything is the way it is, a new morning, a new day and even though it was cloudy and swirling and sad and I couldn't taste any of it with my tongue out in the wind it still felt like being alive. It still felt like I didn't know everything I wanted and that's a pretty way to be and see life.

Then, I hear the kettle whistling, and making another cup of coffee was just steps to the kitchenette away. And I thought, assembling my next moment of snow-stars gazing, that I'd probably do the same the next day and begin with the shaking, tumbling, loving of that little dome filling my day with some moments of magic and child-like smiling. The truth of everything up, coming down, but slowly, amazingly, sublime to the eye and alive with never knowing. Snowing and never knowing.

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