Guy waiting for the bus laughed at me of course, silly woman throwing her groceries on the sidewalk so she could doublequick take a pic of a garbage truck while it idled at a red light, but I did get him to admit it is pretty funny You Can’t Make This Shit Up! this is what we getta live just walking around with our eyes up off the ground every backward blessed day of our lives.
Spring is coming. It’s the Law. I lose my tiny car in potholes, pine for the thaw, for the burn in my legs of biking all over, to break in new Cons via longboard griptape scuffs and propulsion. I forgot how dirty it gets—black snow boulevards matted with grime, dead leaves, dogshit, butts and other debris, months of too lazy careless poorly raised to put trash in its place revealed as the temperature experiments with the 40s. I like my garbage in hilarious piles, not scattershot blotting out the beauty of the city.
British Columbian friends remark on cherry blossoms and other floral explosions. I ain’t seen a hint of green, a budded tree or weed germ. But the birds are singing. Crows conspiring, pigeons in overdrive, sifting through gutter crud, a little more each day. Wish I had a porch to sit on. Can’t wait till my windows thaw enough to open.
Last week Gabe, Cleo and I went for a walk and Gabe takes this pretty seriously. Surfs to Google Maps, flips to satellite view and looks for someplace that looks interesting. “Louisville Swamp!” he says when I arrive, after I convince Cleo not to maul me. Yes, you know me! You do know me! I’m allowed! That’s a good doggie.
“Louisville Swamp, eh.” Gabe prints directions to the road that looks closest. It’s thirty minutes away. I question, lightly, the wisdom of going to a swamp in Minnesota in a melty February that gives no indication it’s a park or anything hinting trails, trespassing allowed, to say nothing of passable at all. In other words, it might suck.
But Gabe believes in dis/un/belief, intuition and flow. When he’s wrong so it goes, but when a hunch becomes fortune, he is GLORIOUS and the universe is magical and you are a fool! for doubting.
Mess with flow? Or vindicate madness, does it turn out awesome? Louisville Swamp it is. On the trip we discuss the coming season and the variables of transition that give it meaning. Harsh, cold winters holed up tight make him value the thaw even more. But my mild, BC winters didn’t make me like spring less, and I didn’t feel less deserving when it arrived. Perhaps I appreciate springs following real winters more, but I wouldn’t prefer it, choose it (though it seems I did). I don’t need trauma to make good things better.
Turns out Louisville Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge outside Shakopee, right by the Renaissance Festival grounds. Finding trails and forging our own, we tromped in the bright snow, triumphed in the glow of serendipity, even me, heavily resistant though susceptible to hippie, devouring sunshine with frozen feet.
Winter’s gonna leave. And whatever the perception, experience and predilection, spring will be rad beyond belief.
When I was 17, I lost a Wal-Mart photo print pickup slip from a trip to Chicago. I had a couple other rolls processed in hand so it’s not like I was lying so the woman shuffled through strangers’ pictures looking for Chicago, a grungy teen deep dish tall buildings dirty hostel, um, the El, House of Blues, no I don’t remember what else was happening when the finger punched the shutter. Just stuff. Things. “Did you take pictures of garbage?”
Um. Yes. Yes, I did.
The pile outside my window has been growing all week, crazy overflowing Vancouver strike caliber and I wonder what the hell quelling the urge the past couple of days to run outside and take pictures of trash. I can’t help myself. I don’t really want to.
This morning I gave in. A couple hours later Dick’s Sanitation arrived.
T-minus 40 days and 40 nights till I turn in my final paper, feel the flood, swallow the West River, allah that. I’m hanging in there, cracking knuckles and shading in shallows, drafting blueprints, dragging footprints, keeping all my promises by making none. Wish we could hang out, Vancouver. Get some tea, some sushi, trouble ourselves for fun. I yearned then turned away, on campus every day, casting a wide net on the job prowl and very well will get stolen away by a new city. The world by the long tail. Sleep when I’m said.
Here are a few pictures, I hope it’s not too creepy. I saw you but you didn’t see me. I didn’t have the guts time to say hi.