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Sunday October 28, 2001, 23:33

It would seem, as the air grows colder, collars turn up and breath begins to show itself for the first time this year, it would seem that I have run out of things to say. This happens every several months, and it will soon pass, but I seem to be going on a particularly long dry spell right now and it is discouraging bordering on something vaguely resembling depressing. I mean, where are the words? I should stockpile them during times in which I am feeling quite verbose, quite wordy, I should put them away for a time such as this one where I'd be able to pull them (the words) out of my pocket or filing cabinet or closet and put them to use, much as one would use that extra wrapping paper, left over from Christmas and used for wrapping a present for an aunt or cousin or other relative.

Unfortunately, I did not have the fore thought to do such a thing and so I am left wordless with nothing to do but talk of the weather.

Which is actually an interesting topic of conversation this time of year, if both parties are significantly observant enough and care enough to notice the change that the dropping temperature can have on the populace of a large metropolitan area as a whole. It's getting cold. That's all there is to it. Tonight, actually, I would go as far as to say that it is cold, which is to say that the coldness has settled itself along side and has fallen in step with everything you could possibly be doing with yourself. Even without necessarily going out into it, per se, the cold lingers outside of your window, gently tapping, daring you to ask "what's the weather like?" You, in your morning, pre-coffee daze, will wander lazily over to the glass, flick open the latches and slide open the window only to be greeting with a blast of chilled air against a still unclothed and highly vulnerable body.

"It's cold!" you'll cry out, diving back under the covers and waiting for the alarm to go off again in fourteen minutes signaling the point of no return, the moment at which you must leap out of bed and, in three hops or less make it into the shower while simultaneously praying (openly and loudly if necessary) that the neighbor did not use up all of the hot water (again) and that the water pressure will be sufficient enough to clean your hair before leaping back out of the shower, into a fresh pair of underwear, then pants (important to get those steps right), before dashing out the door dashing back in the door to pick up nearly forgotten keys and coat and pushing out the front door into the air, still cold and still waiting for you.

And after being greeted by this somewhat unwelcome visitor, you (and we) will all go about our business, newly bundled in scarves and hats and other clothing items designed to hide us from our newly found friend (the cold) and yet serving as well to hide us from our fellow inhabitants of this city, acting as a protective shield, an urban armor against interaction with others. The scarf, cinched up tightly around the neck, inching up towards the mouth, inhibiting speech while serving to lengthen the neck, visually, raising the wearer up and above her fellow citizens. The hat, packed on tightly, rests over the ears and hovers just above the eyebrows, as if to be pulled down at a moment's notice, again protecting its wearer from the elements and other bad members of society. And finally, the coats, which we will not even discuss here for fear of pointing out the obvious "back off" factor involved in wearing a large, heavy bolt of cloth wrapped completely around one's person.

And so I prepare myself for another day, staggering over to the window, peeking down at the street below, trying to determine my interactions for the day by examining the outerwear of the passers by. I take a deep breath, grip firmly on the handle, and pull open, greeting the morning cold with my half-dreaming body. It rushes in, screaming, daring me to dart back under the covers. But not today. Today, I'll stand here, stand here as the wind rushes in and the clouds wander by.

Stand here and scream with the world.

Try it sometime. You might like it.

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