This evening I walked home from the library in a pair of short-shorts, leaning into the kind of wind that drives at you no matter which direction you’re going. It was a balmy 31° that my phone is telling me had a “RealFeel” of 17°, the wind sweeping sideways off the campus lake at 15 mph (with gusts up to 28). I’d claim dedication to my craft, but mostly I’m an idiot. I didn’t bother changing back into my tights and thick knitted dress for the journey back to my apartment because laziness trumps practicality every time.
The gym shorts are themselves a mild horror, picked out of a bin at Walmart nearly a decade ago. I should’ve gone for the uglier but more modest basketball shorts, because let’s be honest here: the old thunder thighs were designed for power, not display. Unfortunately, I’m as cheap as I am lazy, so what ain’t broke doesn’t get fixed–or bought, in this case. The best part of the ensemble is that we use men’s basketball jerseys during indoor soccer practice, and when I slip one of those things on it looks like I decided to take off my pants entirely to run at the opposing team in just a long t-shirt and white pullover.
I am not a great soccer player but I am good for a distraction, at least.
In profoundly related news, this town’s weather is out of its mind. It snowed this morning, rained all afternoon, and hit freezing point fifteen minutes before I walked home, glazing over the concrete in rather pretty if uneven patches. The sidewalks in my apartment complex all angle downwards, like we’re headed into some sort of suburban black hole, so I quite literally — and purposefully — skated most of the way on rubber soles. Deliberately sliding staves off prat-falls like cautiously measuring each step never does this time of year, and I kept it together save for the one time I had an audience. Rounding the corner into my complex nearly did me in as a guy waiting at the T-junction leading out of my building’s parking lot side-eyed me from inside his warm car, trying to decide if he was going to get a show.
He didn’t; I kept my footing even if I looked flailingly stupid when I did, the plastic Walmart bag around my wrist pivoting around the bone in a near 360, the tennis shoes inside giving it weight and swing.
And since I’m apparently in the fashion mood: today’s outfit also featured a long trench coat that buttoned down only a couple of inches past the short-shorts, which blew artistically open every time the wolf huffed and puffed to blow the house down. I looked like a very kitsch Angelina Jolie at the Oscars that one year, with my knee provocatively bared to the elements every time I took a step, my skin a raw, unappealing red from the wind. Pair that with faux-fur lined snow boots, wet with rain, and you’ve got my skating costume for the evening.
You know, it’s a good thing my blog has a “Ramblings” category, or I would have no other way to classify these posts.
Word Count Report: Four more pages of handwritten notes, the missives
- Figure out the logistics of a town this size;
- What collects on the hi-line? And
- Next: tell this story as simply as possible, once you have all the players set;
and the line:
- “They’re doing this for fun.”
There’s something satisfying convincing yourself you’re moving faster and actually being “more safe” by sliding along instead of walking like a normal person!
Convincing, schmonvincing. I was more afraid when I wasn’t skating like a boss.