Article: 288809 of talk.bizarre
From: (Rimrunner)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Seasons (FTSD)
Date: 4 Dec 1996 01:38:08 GMT
Organization: Northwest Nexus, Inc. - Professional Internet Services
Lines: 107
Message-ID: <582km0$>

It's never quite possible to say what day a season ends, a season
begins. Seasonal transience is such a gradual thing, a little change
from day to day, until one morning you wake up and all the leaves have
fallen, and the sun sets before you leave work for the day, and it
only stops raining to blow an ice-cold wind off the water.

(the interstate always sounds like a roaring river, except the day
before Thanksgiving when it seethed with frustration and sawtooth

But there was a first day of winter this year, even if it did come a
few weeks after Halloween, regionally speaking. One morning the air
smelled different. Or maybe "smelled" isn't quite the right
word. There's a way winter air feels when you breathe it, crisp and
sharp and so, so clear, no matter how much smog usually hangs over the

(so dry and clean there's no smog, or even fog, to obscure the tops of
the skyscrapers piercing the clear blue sky like glass towers)

You know what I mean. Like breathing ice, almost at the point of pain
but not quite. I walked to work, breathing the first day of winter,
feeling the red come out on my face, the wind trying to steal my watch
cap and freeze my ears.

(doesn't matter that I was sick in bed for a week, I wouldn't miss a
day like this for the world -- because it is the world you know)

I walk to work. I thought, as the weather turned colder and the sun
set earlier, that I'd start taking the bus, but I don't. Twice a week
to rehearsal is enough -- the crowds of commuters, the one passenger
who talks to hear his own voice, the discomfort of conditioning not to
look at anyone on public transportation that comes of being raised in
a psychotic metropolis.

(I tell people I'm from D.C. now, because out here Washington is a
state, not a monument- and politician-infested city; frequently it's a
state of mind as well, I've felt lately)

There's something about this place. The unexpected. You round a corner
or climb a small slope, and a sudden view spreads out below you. Or
you're walking down the street on your lunch break, and abruptly the
scent of incense and the sound of singing draws you through a doorway
you never noticed before.

(and after awhile you forget that there's a downside to the unexpected
as well, until one day it happens again, but these things are of the

Like the evening we were driving around looking for the place we'd be
playing so we could give people directions, and we turned a corner and
saw that Neiman Marcus had put up their Christmas star. And even
though I'm not a big fan of Neiman Marcus and I'm not sure I buy into
what that star's supposed to represent anyway...seeing it there was a
surprise. Because, unlike the other people in the car, I didn't know
it would be.

(holidays stir memories, and so does snow...remembering days when
school was closed and I'd hang out in the kitchen at home and make
chocolate chip cookies and talk French with mom)

Snow here is Unusual. I had been led not to expect it, and so was
astonished when I woke up one morning a few weeks ago to see enormous
white flakes floating past my window. Below my building, I-5 resembled
the Connecticut River in midwinter -- nothing was moving. I walked to
work with snow piling up on my hat.

(I said I left New England to get away from weather like this, but who
minds snow unless they've got to drive in it)

Something about falling snow, the susurrus of gentle whispers, barely
audible but drowning out everything else. Even the noise of traffic
was muted, and the clumping of boots against icy sidewalk. The world
covered in a quilt of snow, silencing everything, leaving just that
gentle hiss that you barely hear.

(memory of boots kicking through snow falling softly, stomping to
class on a December day, the only sound boots on sidewalk, boots on
snow, even the river silenced by winter)

Funny thing about seasons. When I was young time lasted forever. My
birthday, Christmas and Easter happened once an eon. When you're a
kid, you live in the present a lot, and what you remember doesn't
relate so much to what's happening now or what you hope's going to
happen in the future. It's only when you get older, with your time
compartmentalized and scheduled and divided among so many people and
places, that you realize how little of it you have left. And with
calendars and clocks and twenty-dollar day-planners, your perception
of time becomes exclusively linear. This beginning, that end, all of
the other in between.

(memory of learning the days in French, learning how to remember the
days of the month and the days of the year...thirty days have

Now time whirls by so fast I can no longer watch it pass, if I ever
could. A season is shorter now than a day was then, and a day that
marks the season shows that time is a spiral, a circle, a
sphere. There are no straight lines anymore; in fact, there never
were. It was just that, for awhile there, it was easier to believe in

(it has come before, it will come again)

and since all times are now, this post *isn't* two days late