March 27, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on March 26, 2018

Rivulets. Ferrules. A perfect cliché of a Monday, this: first, it’s Monday, globally the bane of cubicle – or open office – slaves, of working stiffs in any profession which still adheres (how cute) to the concept of M-F / 9-5 as opposed to the gig economy’s 24/7-ism. Still, even if you’re a Task Rabbit slave, an Uber driver, or burger-flipper, hospital nurse, or Amazon warehouse cyborg, you’ve still imbibed that “TGIF = good / Monday = bad” thing. So. It’s Monday. But it’s a spectacularly dreary Monday: the sky is touching those tree tops I’ve observed so often from my perch, and their barren branches do not look better for it. Above that level of contact, partially obscuring the details of the more distant ones, the sky is one thick, soaking blanket of discomfort to the already discomfited Monday humans. Breaking the speed limit as they hurtle along E.-St. below me, on their way to work, school, whatever (but certainly not golf – this ain’t Mar-a-Lago), they experience a double whammy. Some no doubt dream of escape. (I know I do, and I don’t even have to go anywhere.)

It’s raining, of course, and the large window pane which protects me from the outside elements is spotted with hundreds of tiny magnifying glasses – raindrops. They turn the view into a very sad Seurat, drained entirely of its Parisian spring palette, its Mediterranean vacation sun. Occasionally one of the little drops becomes too big for its tenuous hold on the vertical glass, and it slides down the pane, making rivulets that turn into ferrules, watery cuffs. Those streaks suggest that Edvard Munch is muscling in for some typical proto-Expressionist gloom. Here! Scream! I feel less panicked than this may sound, because I know that the weather – and the days – will change. It’s my life I’m unsure about, though. I worry it won’t.

Yesterday was sunny, and I did manage a walk at least. I was also inspired, for the first time in a while, to take some photos. I focused on signs, the lettering, fonts, design. As I headed back, up C.-St (I had arrived at the harbor via the more scenic L.-St./ beach route), I walked past houses which looked like they had known better days. Maybe. But, even though it was Sunday, maybe it has always been Monday for them. I know we dragged our first house in B. to the TGIF level, its exuberant front garden (designed, planted, tended by me) the subject of at least two artists who set up easels across the street to paint it and the suddenly-pretty house. Today, fifteen years after we sold it, it unfortunately looks like it has seen a month, if not a half decade or more, of nothing but Mondays. The houses I passed on lower C.-St. all had an air of that, a combination of neglect by the wrong owners (who apparently don’t care and seek only the rent, or can’t afford improvements) as well as of siting – the general decline prodded by our neglect of the common. The street is for cars, not for pedestrians. People in cars don’t see even a fraction of what’s actually surrounding them as they hurtle past, whereas pedestrian do. Since the way is for cars and not for pedestrians, the sidewalks fail, and no one cares, not the houses’ occupants (renters, mostly, shunted to the low end – to what has turned from a captain’s handsome Sunday house to Wednesday’s child), nor the people zipping by in cars, glad not to live here. Automobile traffic seems to degrade everything, everywhere it goes. Like the buckling, broken sidewalks, the houses also fail, their carpentry work rotting, sagging, splitting, incapable of holding on to a coat of paint, a coat to protect against this climate of surrender.

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