Winter, and it's sadness and sense of death make me wonder why crows gather in threes.....
|Maine winters have the color sucked out of them. Even the evergreens seem to be in black and white. Ice-snow crackles underfoot and the air itself is brittle, as though you could snap a piece of it in your hand.
This morning, with my coffee and cigarette, three crows cawed on a nearby tree. Three. These death-feasters gather energy in this weather, and roust on the gloom.
I’m done with it, this cold and indoor time, despite my promises to myself (made in summer) that this time I’ll use the enforced pattern to finally tidy up my papers, start a new file for this new year, and get rid of the scatter of papers on my desk. There’s no satisfaction in a new routine, not when my body is yelling at me to strip to a T-Shirt and shorts and drink beer while I barbecue and sweat.
The grill has a hat of snow, no using that now. I could if I wanted to I suppose, but it’s easier and more seasonal to remain indoors and make stew. Stew, again! Salads and beer don’t have the same crisp cut to the tongue as they do when it’s 80 degrees and humid.
So stew it is, and soup. And hide from the world, and watch television, and dream of the Spring. Grow fat, and lazy, and pretend that it’s all okay. I’ll lose it in the warmer months. I’ll walk the dog when the ground doesn’t threaten to snatch me as he tugs at the lead, looking for a rabbit or a squirrel.
Write then – use the time given you! Or wish it away, and age when I should be draining each day no matter what the weather is.
I have a neighbor who runs by the house, walks his dog, every day. I watch him from my porch, smoking, or drinking coffee in the mornings and whisky at night, thinking that he has to be freezing. I am too, but I flatten my smoke and go back inside to the warmth and my sleeping dog. Fat and doleful as I am.
A large brisket defrosts (slowly) in the kitchen, it’s head upturned from my forcing it into the freezer on the day I bought it. More slow food, another reason to stay in on Sunday and gently, slowly, lazily cook this great slice of sloth. It’ll be good, I know, delicious even. Root vegetables, and gravy and rice and warm comfort with only the thought of flannel sheets and indolence to follow.
Tomorrow I’m going to wake early, maybe even wake the dog early too, and leave my sleepy wife to walk the pup in the crispness. Home to bacon, and eggs, and a morning filled with activity so I can chill all afternoon. I’ll earn my nap, with a warm and snoring dog across my legs. Well, that’s the plan. More likely I’ll stay up late, enjoy the inside warmth of my home when it’s cold and shitty outside, and drink too much whisky. All the while telling myself how good the day will be. How much I’ll accomplish. I’ll clean the basement, tidy my life, cook a glorious meal for my bride and spend an evening filled with conversation and love and time.
So, back to the crows. All three of them, waiting for me. Noisy and noxious. Impervious to the air, and hungry for flesh. Any will do, really, as long as it doesn’t fight back.
I don’t have a chance, honestly. They’re stronger than I am, and insistent. They’re just waiting.