When I woke up Tuesday morning, my front door was frozen shut.
After being teased with reasonably spring-like temperatures, the disappearance of 95% of Minneapolis’s snow, and the optimistic, somewhat risqué appearance of both my spring jacket and cap, Minnesota has again been blasted back into winter.
Hence the frozen-shut front door.
So after giving up on the front door, going back upstairs, down the back steps, to the bus (which actually skidded when it stopped for me), and arriving at work, I do what all right-thinking people do when faced with obstacles.
I call to complain to Mary.
“Mary!” I shout.
“Hallo,” she says, mildly.
Her early-morning mildness affects me not.
“I’ve had it! We were promised a spring, dammit! And you know what? We’re not getting one! No green lawns, no hot tar, no inappropriately dressed teen-agers! We’ve skipped all of it and we’re heading straight toward winter again!”
“It’s like Thanksgiving out there,” she interjects, almost audibly nodding. “Frankly, I’m thinking of making a turkey.”
This is enough to make me stop short. Visions of turkey gravy slide effortlessly over the inches of snow that have deposited over night and are still accumulating. “Are you really?”
“No,” she says.
“Why you little…”
“Why I oughta…” she counters.
There is silence.
“Really,” I fret. “I can’t take this anymore. Would it be wrong to leap out a window or something?”
There is a silence while she considers my cry for help. “Could we have a party?”
A party. It’s always a party with this one.
“What, so people can watch me hurl my pale, freckled body off the second-floor porch?”
“Well, when you put it that way…” she pauses. “Yes. Basically, yes.”
“Hmm,” I ponder. “Maybe I’m not the only feeling this way...”
“We need a party!” Mary is working herself up. “A theme party!”
“Can I have a I’m Going to End It All If Spring Doesn’t Come Soon Party?”
“Yes!” There is the sound of clapping hands.
“Can I make it BYOR?”
“Bring Your Own Rope.”
She pauses so as to give it thought. “I don’t think that would be too tacky, do you?”
“Not at all!” I’m warming to this. “I’m going to serve plastic bags –“
“ -- not to be used as toys,” she interjects, audibly nodding.
“Right. And we’ll serve contra-indicated medications – “
“Antibiotics and The Pill!”
Now I am nodding, audibly. “And host ill-advised competitions!”
“Oooooh! Operating heavy machinery on a double dose of the good cough syrup?”
“We’re talkin’ codeine, baby!”
Now we are both nodding. “This is coming along nicely,” I say.
I feel better, suddenly. “I like it when we talk.”
“Me, too,” she says.
There is a short-lived silence.
“Are you sure you won’t make a turkey?” I say.
“Yes,” she says. “I’m sure.”
That Summer: Part Four
23 minutes ago