Monday, February 18, 2008

Seriously, WTF? We Call It The Hawk


Mon 9PM: 14F (Wind Chill -3F) Wind W 18 Cloudy
Mon 11PM: 13F (Wind Chill -4F) Wind W 18 Partly clear
Tue 1AM: 12F (Wind Chill -5F) Wind W 16 Cloudy
Tue 3AM: 11F (Wind Chill -6F) Wind W 15 Cloudy

Tue 2AM: 11F (Wind Chill -6F) Wind W 16 Cloudy
Tue 8AM: 9F (Wind Chill -7F) Wind W 14 Partly clear
Tue 2PM: 17F (Wind Chill 3F) Wind W 14 Partly clear
Tue 8PM: 16F (Wind Chill 6F) Wind W 8 Cloudy
Wed 2AM: 10F (Wind Chill -3F) Wind NW 10 Cloudy
Wed 8AM: 8F (Wind Chill -10F) Wind NW 18 Clear

Currently: 10F (Wind Chill -9F) Wind W 19 Mostly Cloudy
(on Mon 6:51PM CST at Chicago Midway Airport)

The wind. Unrelentless. I walk out the door from work and fall on ice before I'm across the lot, because yesterday it was 42 degrees and so there is invisible ice everywhere. Once I pass the pipe-fitting plant, the full moon is overhead, so no more falls, the warning streaks are there. The wind is from the west. I open my mouth and realize which part of my mouth will neded dental work in the near future. Something is flapping, somewhere. A flag, maybe, or a banner by the car wash. I do not care to swivel my head. Water squeezes out of my eyelids. I cannot feel my cheekbones at all. The Hawk. Personally, I call it The Cock-Knocking Wind, a phrase all Chicago meteorologists, Tom Skilling, the lovely Ginger Zee, Brant Miller,hell, even Andy Avalos, the poor slob who gets the 5AM shift. should be able to use during their newscasts. Thinking of Ginger Zee doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy as my stream of consciousness had hoped. The car wash is locked up, the lone light coming from a white on red Pepsi machine. I picture a photo of the Taj Mahal, now a screensaver on my Dell. Sent to me by the most patient editor/publisher on the planet, Ratna Chatterjee. The face of Willy Nelson on a CD next to the computer with the photo of the Tj Mahal. Hearing the lyrics of Willy and Merle Haggard singing "Pancho & Lefty" in my head. "And now you wear your skin like iron, your breath as hard as kerosone." You guys should read this without spell-check. I'm typing with a pencil in my mouth. 10:00, more news on the NIU shootings last week. I started typing this at 9:20, the easiest part being taking the photos with my webcam, because all I had to do was hold something round, not point a finger and hope against hope that something happens. The two photos illustrate me and my inner self, the little clown skeleton at the keyboard telling his story. I kept at it, grimacing against the wind, shaking my fist at the sky, one eye now slowly closing, the idea of a nap nearing the part of my brain that shows me my logical future. Can't blink, my knuckles feel As if they had been individually broken by a huge stick. The 383 bus comes, I ascend. The wind howls from outside, as if we are driving at 2000 MPH, there's the smell of booze from the one crazy guy who is telling a new listener how he can cover motion detectors with cardboard boxes. A woman has a blanket covering her legs and a baby carraige. The carraige is dusted with snow and it is a faded blue, the baby hidden from view. The fumes from the drunk make me think I could easily warm up if I had some nice Seagram's straight, but I have not had any hard liquor since I was in Toronto last April. (In fact, I have had only four beers since then as well). I can taste the booze on my tongue, the way I can taste the coppery harshness of secondary smoke when I'm waiting at bus stops earlier in the day. I look at my reflection in the window, knowing I did the exact same thing twenty years ago, with other buildings and cars and lives past my changing reflection. My eyes are the same, everything other facial feature warping, melting, melding into this year's model monstrosity. I get off the bus and walk a half mile home. When I get to my house, I lean against the cold brick as if I had just survived a run in with the bad guys and won. Eyes staring at the full moon and the winter stars Spica and Aldeberan and others I cannot name and then the clouds obscure them and I go inside...Wayne