Secret Pop

Aug 27, 2002

Whistle while you work.

For the first time in a while, I stayed at work late enough to leave in the dark and cool of the night. Crossing the less busy street alone and entering the parking garage to find my car sitting solitary on the level was strange. As if I'd overslept and the world had ended.

Soon enough, with the help of daylight savings, it will be dark much more of the time. I remember it from year after year that has gone before. Years that have left their hash marks on me. I remember it for it's ability to cause me to remember. I love the smell of October as it becomes November. The smell of cold fireplace ashes in the dewy cool of morning is more meaningful to me than almost any other scent. It has meant so many things. Sometimes hope and new beginnings. Sometimes nostalgic loss. The first day I catch a great draught of that scent is a milestone. I'm glad I moved in the fall. It felt like homecoming.

Lately, it seems that I am changing. Growing maybe? And I am less afraid. I remember when things seemed to be happening in a scene on a postage stamp. Time passed. Life rushed past me like heavy rains in the gutter. And I stood there and watched. And noticed debris. It all went by. It all washed away. And the streets smelled sweet as they were drying. I was squinting. Unable to look directly at bright truths. But I feel my eyes adjusting.

Things change. Something happens. Perspectives stretch and distort. The cat is big, but the dog looks somehow smaller, even though he's standing right there. What was meaningful becomes dull and smooth-edged, like pieces of glass in ocean sand. No longer able to cut through anything or to draw blood. But suddenly more beautiful, especially when held up to the light. What was paramount fades into the background, and the pages turn, and the players change. There are so few things that will manage to matter forever.

I wish today felt more like a different day when I felt less like this.

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