Finances down the tubes. Phone disconnected. Friends moving away. Creative outlet blocked due to phantom health problem curse. Recent realizations about inherent amoral, evil impulses and tendencies. It’s the end of August and I am in the Safeway at the special services desk buying a second long distance calling card so that I can call back the ENT’s office and get the confirmation on an appointment all the way in distant fucking October.
“Can you believe this weather we’re having?” asks the lady behind the counter as she rings up my purchase. She is wearing a lot of makeup to make her skin appear smoother and tauter than it is, but she is still looking good for her age in a Safeway advertisement employee actress sort of way.
The weather in question is dark and cold and rainy. Over the last two days it has appeared as if some huge chunk of December has dropped off and accidentally landed on the tail end of August.
“Yeah,” I agree, “it seems like a transplant from a different time.” The lady behind the counter gets distracted by some procedure having to do with my check card as I continue on, “is it supposed to keep going like this, do you know?” I ask.
There is no response from the middle aged commercial on the other side of the counter. Her mind is a few computers away as she negotiates my purchase with big daddy technology. “Do you know?” I push on.
“Do I know if it is a transplant?” she asks, her voice seeming to come from distant phone lines.
“Have you heard anything about how long this spell is supposed to last?” I ask again. Since I don’t watch the news or read the paper or listen to the morning commute comics on the radio I figure Miss Safeway Middle Aged is probably the closest thing to meteorology I have going.
“Um,” she finally responds, “ I heard something about an early winter and a hard winter I think.”
She says this as if it is going to be two different winters, one following the other in a marching line of weather realities. That’s cute, I think, knowing in my very bones that it is going to be both at once along with everything else.
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