Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ruined

We are ruined. It happens this time every year, and today is the day. Temps rise past sixty and your entire body clock adjusts to spring weather with one ratcheting twist of attitude.

A week ago if it got down to ten degrees you'd think, "It's Nebraska. I'm tough. Bring it on." Now if it gets below thirty degrees you'll start every conversation with "I'm so fxck!ng sick of this weather!"

Ruined.

It's not the cardinals and robins singing, not the scruffy, scrawny, blinky-eyed bunnies venturing out who tip me off that today is the day. It's when pink-bellied neighbors toss their turtlenecks and chinos for tank tops and shorts, and go for their first run of the year, blind to the three-inch-deep potholes still hidden by oily black puddles. Joggers are all over the place today, winter pudge still jiggling as their translucent tummies compete for the sun's attention.

Me, I was ruined by lunchtime. I sat outside on my patio, its bricks still warped by frozen waves underneath, and I read the newspaper's weather forecast: sixty degrees for today and tomorrow. But later in the week, down to 35? "What kind of crap is that???" Spoiled in one day. Four days ago it neared zero, and I endured without a word, like when the doctor stretches on a rubber glove: you know it's miserable but you just turn your back on it and act like everything's fine.

My yard smells like what it is: four months worth of thawing critter poop. No lavender or orange blossoms up yet to mask the smell, but it's sweet just the same, because in just one day, winter is over.

Tonight Memorial Park near my house will look like a cattle feedlot as half-naked people punch through ankle-deep mud trying to play Ultimate Frisbee. Every dog in the city will get an extra-long walk tonight, sniffing at every tree and pole, catching up on melted messages posted by neighbor dogs since last November.

You'll go for a walk tonight, grill a salmon or burger or brat, not caring that the sun still goes down at 7:30.

While I was typing that last sentence I saw a convertible go by with its top down. Oooooooh, that seals it.

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