April 1, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on March 31, 2018

Skyped with A. We talked about the weather – a freakish heatwave in Europe, whereas we’re punished by a miserable winter storm that’s less of a storm and more of a seemingly interminable drabness and misery. I also talked about the politics here and how I’m just about ready to run screaming from the room with my hair on fire – something I actually posted on Twitter, too. After what I wrote the other day about Facebook usage, I realized that my Twitter use is almost equally solipsistic. But what I like about Twitter is the way my timeline isn’t distorted by an algorithm, nor is the timeline of others. Generally, things don’t disappear – as a rule. They’re there, in order of posting. And this facilitates tweet storms as well, which often are mini-essays – or at least argument outlines.

The weather is bleak – bleaker than any hellhole sodden stark-winter landscape of Bruegel or Bosch ever was. All is a filthy, already melting white – roofs, sidewalks, road edges – through which the soiled and uncared-for surfaces glower: treacherous roads that will ice over, sidewalks covered in two inches of translucent slush (which will turn to ice), another accident site waiting to happen, weird circular spots where sewer or manhole covers have warmed the snow-slush to melting, exposing the cold metal, hard rocks jutting above the already slipped off mantle of slush, skylights piercing roofs, their glass a beaded mess of thin ice assaulted now by sleet, one hard surface in battle with assaults of ice pellets … all is hardness against coldness. The surfaces are all winter-bare and hard, the coldness is the slush that tried to cover all. The slush fails, ground away by tires, tirelessly rolling down and up E.-St. The slush takes a stand where we humans haven’t yet reached it – on roofs, on uncleared sidewalks, on the street in front of my house. The sky just keeps going on and on, relentlessly dumping more “wintry mix” (rain, snow, sleet) on all the ground it can reach. It has descended lower than ever to do this, thickening closer to us than is usual, although I did just observe a lone gull wing its way through at quite a height. Not completely solid then. It just looks that way.

My heart feels heavy. I’m not in love. Not in love with this, this region, this climate. We wanted – I wanted – to go to two events at X-venue in [town] today: a 4p.m. panel discussion and an 8p.m. performance, with dinner at a restaurant in between. W. doesn’t want to go because of the shitty weather. I’m now worried about going because we officially no longer have any health insurance (unless we trigger emergency COBRA health insurance – at least we think we have that option). Imagine if we had a car accident (because of course X-venue means driving driving driving) …injuries, hospital. Nightmare. But I’m pissed about missing the panel and performance, too.

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