It was nine degrees this morning, a slight panic again about the long walk I had, the icy air, the sun that everyone pines for, today was an electric blade, my eyes could hardly see through the glare, the atomic light, actually walking in the frigid cold, bundled up head to toes, the long wide alpaca scarf you gave me keeping the frigid air from my nose, mouth and lungs. Oh the icy air again!
When you are not afraid of air…. and your heart, brain and lungs are intact, feeling your blood cursing through you, then you are a walking miracle, a little well oiled machine. Legs moving back and forth like a little stupid soldier, marching marching on and on. But, it feels like heaven!
I am wearing lipstick, bordeaux red, looks bright and cheerful against the burgundy coat, black hat….. I have to be very careful how I breathe with this paint on…. the alpaca scarf is fuzzy, soft, has thousands of delicate wispy threads of blue, pink, gold and fuschia like a sunset, and the threads are grazing my cheeks, chin, top of nose and almost mouth, but I have it wrapped around my neck in thick loose folds so that it is a few inches from my actual lips and I breathe the air that is warmed up in that little space between scarf and body. Once the scarf accidently touched my painted lips and I stopped in the middle of the street, grabbed a kleenex and started rubbing the scarf in a Lady Macbeth panic—– if you wear lipstick it is a cardinal cardinal sin to smudge your clothes, or to smudge your lipstick in any way, at least not while going to work……or at work, or in a restaurant, or at the dentist, or at the doctors, or at a dinner party, or at lunch, or breakfast, or on a bus or on a train or in a taxi or at the grocery store, or at church getting communion. When you wear lipstick it is often better to just stay home.
At the bus stop the sea of cars again, the exhaust is sharper and more acrid in winter, in the icy cold, I try to wave it away with my hands and people in the cars think I am swatting flies or mosquitos….
I see a red apple in the parking lot in front of me, shiny, red, with three or four large bites out of it, slightly brownish on the inside…..a squirrel or rabbit, probably not a rabbit, I have never seen a rabbit with an apple. The rabbits don’t travel this far and they are probably all in my garden eating every last thing with a twig or stem or bud. They ate the white lilac weeks ago, gnawed it to the ground. I went out one day and it was just gone. They eat carrots so maybe they do eat apples….
A white SUV is stopped at the light in front of the bus stop blasting music so loud the whole street can hear it…… but it’s “Eleanor Rigby”….. Paul McCartney singing “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” I see a young father and son in the car both heads bent down, texting… the violins are streaming and McCartney is singing and my heart is in my mouth like it always was and always will be when I hear that song….It has been so many years since I heard it and I thought about how young the Beatles were when they wrote it, how young we all were when we first heard it…
Ah, this human life, it’s a little like the tossed, half gnawed apple on the ground, left by some hungry creature, but still so red, so shiny, so tempting, every last rotting bit.