June 19, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on June 18, 2018

Everything is wrapped in gray. (The word miasma continues to present itself to my mind.) It’s a typical New England summer’s morning. That is: humid, overcast, sun not yet getting through, the skies threatening to send down rain. Actually, not even as direct as “threatening.” More like, “The skies leaking moisture as though afflicted with the incontinence of the old – or the very young .” …At any rate, those who no longer or not yet know where they’re going.

As I look out of my window across rooftops, a forest stares me down as well: trees everywhere. The redeeming grace: a breeze. A Zephyr desperately shaking branches, as if to wake us from this deep-in-muck slumber. It’s no good. His efforts are too feeble, the overgrown jungle-y vegetation too strong, the sky too oppressively moisture-filled. Yes, I long for the dry summers of a Mediterranean climate. And yet, checking the weather reports last night as I sat on the sofa sweating, I saw that Victoria is at present not dry and crisp, but rather damp as well. It must be a disease going ’round, except here it’s chronic.

I saw [neighbor] leave the house at 6:12a.m. (Yes, I was up that early, got out of bed at six.) Dressed for summer heat even though it’s not yet hot, and even though the train and definitely her office are likely to be deeply air conditioned – unlike what must have been her sweltering house all weekend. (It was very warm, but somehow not warm enough to justify the A/C; she only has a window unit anyway.)

Seeing her made me wonder what’s wrong with me. I’m weather-fragile? She’s weather-antifragile? Freezing in a summer dress while in an air-conditioned office seems to bother her as little as sweating in t-shirt and shorts in an overheated, under-aerated house. It’s like it’s all the same, somehow. How is that possible? Why can’t I be that nonchalant? Does it mean she responds less to the wonderful variations that can occur? For example, last night’s sudden reprieve when Zephyr got to work and brought us a brisk, cool wind off the ocean? It was still humid-ish, but it was such a noticeable change. I even got W. to come out for a postprandial walk with me. Later, I heard [another neighbor] exulting over it in a very animated and excited tone to [first neighbor] around nine o’clock when they must have both been briefly outside for some reason, but [first neighbor]’s response was articulated without [other neighbor]’s enthusiasm, even if her words by themselves mirrored it. Is she dead? Or just dead-on determined to get on with it? Ordinary things like weather or family won’t get in the way?

Funny; those two examples of ordinary things, weather and family (family obligations) have a long history of absolutely slaying me. (Yule H., slain by ordinary things. Ha. But who isn’t?)

[Neighbor] left this morning in a sleeveless fitted dress, short, beige, almost flesh-colored. Like she was wearing nothing. A male counterpart might don a suit in the same weather conditions. Both are suited up; he’s overdressed, she’s underdressed. But both disregard this and both sally forth, again and again, day after day. Not sure whether to admire this.

Not sure what I admire these days. Yesterday some presumably non-Muslim man drove a van into a crowd of Muslims who’d just left a mosque or Muslim relief center. No doubt this will be used to point out that “whites” are evil (just as some social media morons were assuming the attacker was Muslim). Evil people exist in every group, every culture. They aren’t admirable.

Their sudden actions, unlike Zephyr’s, fatally interrupt the ordinary routines of ordinary people in their ordinary get-ups. Just evil.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: