In the early afternoon, it’s raining and the sun is shining. The rain touches my face and is evaporated, or is absorbed by my skin, or something happens that leaves a light pleasant sting. The two contradictory weather conditions are canceling each other out.
In the late afternoon, a dark raincloud rolls in. It’s blue-tinged in the north and a backlit brown in the south, Bob Ross would’ve used a fair amount of burnt umber. The rain starts up again. Just like before, it’s a bit heavier than mist. With the sun covered, it’s a different experience. I start a list of descriptions. It smells fresh. It tastes wet. It feels sweet. It smells cold. But the rain eases up and then stops; and, though it’s a windless day, – (Damp flags are draped against their flagpoles at half-mast.) – the dark cloud moves east, into the mountains I guess. We still have a layer of cloud-cover, but the air didn’t develop the bite that I’d anticipated.
“Hey! How are you?”
“Good. Wow, I haven’t seen you in a couple of years.”
“Yeah, it’s been awhile. I heard you’re living at Ron’s house.”
“Heh. Yeah, I was there for a few months, . . . unfortunately.”
“You and Ron didn’t get along?”
“No, we didn’t. Ron’s a total prick.”
“Oh, sorry. So he’s having trouble with the house now?”
“Yeah. He’s losing a lot of money on it, so he’s really happy about that.”
“Uh, . . . I was going to ask you for his phone number, but . . .”
“I’d be happy to give it to you, but if you talk to him make sure you tell him that I called him a prick.”
Thumbing through a pocket-size address book: “The last number I have for him is 323 . . . ”
“That’s an L.A. number?”
“He really is an asshole, just ask his brother. He’s never going to sell that place.”
A disclaimer comes up on the screen before the Swingers DVD will play the director’s commentary, “The following audio commentary is for entertainment purposes only,” because non-entertainment uses would be dangerous, I guess; and because, when it’s played without the commentary, the movie is for serious business only.
A woman talking to her kids in line at Dick’s Drive-In –
Woman: “Do you want Chinese or Dick’s?”
First kid: “Chinese.”
Second kid: “Dick’s! Dick’s!”
Woman: “There’s also Russian burgers.” (looking across the street at the little piroshky bakery.)
First kid: “Russian burgers! Russian burgers!”
I finished my lunch and walked out of Pagliacci’s. There was a pair of dogs tied up to the rail outside. I said, “Hey, dogs,” and walked over to gave them both a couple of pats on the head. Behind me I heard Chris’ voice, “Hey, Jeff,” and I looked back and said hello as he walked away.
The thing is, while my “Hey, dogs,” was mostly meant as something along the lines of, “Hey look. Dogs!”, there was also more than a little bit of “Hello, dogs. How are you today?” in the way it was delivered.
So I was caught talking to dogs – and not just dogs, strange dogs. I guess I’m just glad that I wasn’t caught barking at dogs.
Another day where I woke up, turned on the radio, and heard what weren’t the usual voices talking about something that hadn’t been on the news yesterday. I sat down and listened, making no special effort to absorb what had happened, just piecing it together as the NPR anchors got around to repeating the key points.