Sunday, February 7, 2016

the ennui of winter

About four in the morning a slab of snow slides off the roof sounding like an el train rumbling by a third-floor apartment at midnight. The snow lands: a soft plop. All is quiet. Elliott digs his claws in and out of one of the beams downstairs and it’s a brutal tearing sound, but, it ends, and all is quiet.

Out before dawn, featherweight snow. In the air, a light and lithe dance. On the ground, a bulky cover over hardened old snow beaten thin and crisp by recent sun. This fresh snow is as deep as the Winter Weather Advisory advised, and Josie, stepping off the porch, sinks into it up to his chin, but I can tell anyway that he is lifting his leg, peeing, somehow, into the snow, the snow that covers him. Later he will cut a trail like that of a hippo waddling through mud.

Josie cutting a trail, investigating paranormal snow bowls.

So now the backside of winter, the start of the second half, the final three months, and where is the wind? There has been so little wind. The Winter Weather Advisory advised us of wind, but all is still.

Elliott can bear it no longer—Winter! Three months of lolling around, sleeping, sneezing, that unsavory worm incident, baking in front of a hot stove until well overdone. No! Don’t stick a fork in me! Enough! He goes out, walks gingerly. Who can abide this snow? He watches Josie. Really, who can abide this stuff? He goes in.

Elliott does his best to put one paw in the print of another.

One evening, a tiny dead vole on the porch. Elliott has been in and out. I caught him one moment on the very edge of the porch, above the step, hunkered down, staring out, it was just past light with a grey mist of snow, Elliott staring out over white dusky fields, barely cold enough to freeze a Popsicle, and later, then, the scrawny dead vole.

Inside, Elliott hides around corners, crouches down in places so as not to be seen, and he springs, he pounces, he practices on Josie. Josie The Super Gargantuan Vole. Josie happy to oblige until he senses maybe he shouldn’t, and he hides behind me, and Elliott falls on his side with a hard plop, digs his nails in and out of the threads of a chair.

Josie and I go out every day, playing on snowbanks, walking the river, me the only one now breaking through ice, my left leg, twice, up to the knee, brrr, but then for my foot just a squishy uncomfortableness: we love the snow.

Elliott goes out. Snow slides off the roof. Rumble, plop. Elliott comes in.

Elliott outside, briefly.

On the backside of winter, the days a little longer, the sun more bold, and only three months, now, to mud season.