Headaches. Headaches and looming crabbiness have been my bywords this and last week.
If we can be candid here – and I think we agreed to such an exchange a long time ago – I’ve had better weeks. My head hurts, the cat is using my car again, and the temperature in Minneapolis has dropped a full 50 degrees since Monday, and will, in the coming months, easily drop another 50.
We’ll discuss the foolishness of this life-long Minnesotan’s amazement at the temperature changes at another time, but on that subject I’ll leave you with this thought: Socks.
I wore socks yesterday morning for the first time in over four months, and you know what? I can recommend them. I think I’ll wear them for the next, oh, eight months or so.
Have you tried this new thing? These “socks”?
But what now, huh? A new-found love of socks can only get you so far. With Minnesota entering its Mother-Nature-Is-Trying-to-Kill-You phase, now, more than ever, we need a look into the future.
This weekend, for example, and its long-awaited Brew Review at the Schmidt’s Brewery: will there be foot races afterwards, like last year? Shall I embrace full-on drunkenness or sip with discernment?
Will I need a hat?
Let us consult the iPod, shall we? Because as is well known around these parts (especially the parts that exist in my head), my iPod, set on “shuffle” and played during Friday’s morning commute, foretells the future.
Soul Sacrifice by Santana
Strange Times by The Black Keys
Shake It Out by Manchester Orchestra
Jump Into the Fire by Harry Nilsson
Cold Beverage by G. Love & Special Sauce
Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple
Hmm. Yes. I see. We’ll avoid the “soul sacrifice” – aside from that lovely drum solo – and proceed directly to the cold beverage.
To paraphrase the Right Groovy Telly Savalas (in his role as Ramses II): So the iPod has played it, so it shall be done.
On a more introspective note, I’ve spent some time this week looking down. Perhaps it's the waning light of fall, but the urge to crawl into my head and stay there (perhaps there are more socks in there?) has come upon me. It's a winter-approacheth kind of thing. We locate our sweaters and boots, stock up on root vegetables, resurrect the projects we set aside in anticipation of the glorious, heady days of summer.
It’s another world, looking down. A world of discarded snacks; of lost hair ties and ravaged candy wrappers; a house-cleaner’s nightmare of discarded cigarette butts and bus transfers.
I pick these things up, you know, throw them away.
Absolutely free of charge.
I was doing that this morning, absent-mindedly tidying up my part of the city, when there, on the ground, right where the bus will open its doors when it arrives, right where I will be standing when it pulls up, I see a cigarette.
A whole, clean cigarette.
And one penny. Heads up.
They are side by side, as if placed there purposefully.
I look around. Perhaps I look too deeply sometimes - I once saw implied threats in the tiny mouse head deposited on my front steps by a feline admirer - but I saw in those two things a sort of hope. There are those for whom a found cigarette is comfort, for whom a found, heads-up penny brings luck.
I step back. I look up.
The bus comes, and I step over the cigarette and the penny, hoping that the person who needs them, finds them.
The doors open. “Beautiful day,” the bus driver says.
I smile. He may be on to something.
Happy weekend, everyone. Don't forget that you can always come back tomorrow.
Five in Five: Tuesday, January 23
7 hours ago