21 November 2008

Sleep and Darkness and Cold

It's been one of those days during which the cold goes straight for your bones. Of course, there have been much colder days than today--not for a long time, though. That must be the reason why it feels absolutely frigid tonight: We've had a mild fall, which was preceded by summer, a warm spring and a mild winter. Most of us simply are not used to this kind of weather right now.

But the cold today: The best thing you can say about it is that it wasn't wet. I don't mind cold or wet; having both is just miserable. So it wasn't all bad, really. The thing is, now we know that even if winter is not here, it will cast a shadow over everything that comes before the spring. And some will die from it; that happens every year.

I think this is the time that seperates those who capitulated to the darkness from those who will die from the cold, and those who will survive. I'm thinking again of Toni, who killed herself in early November--just after we turned back the clocks and the days were thus shorter--four years ago. She, like most people--I include myself--feared the darkness even more than the cold. I think that's why people like her are/were so affected by the change in the seasons. After all, there are ways to prepare for, and even live with the cold. It's much harder to make peace with darkness. Is it any wonder that most people--again, I include myself--fear blindness more than any other physical disability that might befall them?

And I am feeling very sleepy right now. My eyes have closed just about any time I've sat still--including the subway ride home from the campus. I missed the stop--Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights--where I was going to transfer to the local train so I could go to Steinway Street, the site of my bank and a few errands I'd wanted to run. So I disembarked at Queens Plaza, the following stop, and took the local train two stations back to Steinway.

It wasn't a big deal: It added maybe a couple of minutes to my trip and I wasn't trying to make any appointments. But I practically sleep-walked off the train, to the bank and the pizzeria (an old one, where the owner is very nice to me and makes a great Sicilian pie) and to the two stores I wanted to visit. In one of them, I couldn't even muster the energy to try on a pair of sweat pants, which I've been wanting to buy. The prospect of removing my coat, shoes, skirt and possibly my tights, and having to put them back on, daunted me. At least when I got home I could take off my clothes and slip into my robe, a.k.a. my kitty magnet. I mean, think about it: Two guys locked up in the house all day. And a woman comes home, puts on a plush robe and lies down. How do you expect them to behave, even when said woman looks like me?

You know I'm really tired if I'm making jokes like that.

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