On Tuesday morning around 7:43 AM I was violently torn out of my snooze button routine by a jolting sound. I could have sworn it was the sound of something heavy falling on the floor next to the bed but I scoured the floor and couldn't locate anything that looked heavy or anything that I recognized to be from the shelf or bedside table. I then realized there was chirping outside. Loud chirping and lots and lots of birds swooping about. The chirping has been absent all winter, I realized. I then realized what the waking sound had been. It could be none other than the sound of a bird flying head first into our bedroom window.
The window stretches from floor to cieling in our loft space and I often gaze at the apricot tree outside of our window when I wake up to the sound of church bells at noon on a Saturday or Sunday. In Brooklyn, people have little weird yards that they are never in from the months of August through February (I do not know if they are in their yards from March through July because I've not witnessed those months of Brooklyn living yet). The yards are empty. Last Tuesday or Wednesday's snow is still laying there in their yards unscathed, unclumped, unblackened my street crud. But I notice the snow is waining around the edges, appearing concave and sickly in comparison to the fluffy, chubby amounts that could be seen on that morning that I naively fantasized I wouldn't have to go to work (my hometown would've completely shut down!).
The morning turns out to be an unusually lively one. The loud bird injury sound forcing me to give up on some extra sleep that I wasn't supposed to have anyway and inspiring Eric to get out of bed as well. He immediately goes to work on some dirty dishes in the sink and I welcome the sound of clinking and rushing water running and the main room's lights flipped on. The sound of someone hand-washing dishes is something you'd here at my family's old house from my upstairs bedroom because of the acoustics from the high vaulted cielings, and my family's seemingly deliberate force to get me out of bed and downstairs for breakfast. So the current atmosphere is a far cry from the usual moping about done by me and my roommate Kat in the darkness and the quiet before work. Kat and I have similar schedules and we rarely have the energy to have a conversation in the morning, let alone turn on any lights and pretend that we are allowed to occupy the commons space as usual. There is something about the morning that makes me very apprehensive to disturb the furniture and lightbulbs of the household.
I suppose that is part of the joy of Christmas morning. There is excitement for the morning to have come and no need to contain noise or feel horridly introspective about the coming events of the day. There are no personal journeys of anguish that one must take on the Christmas days of my past. Unless of course the journey is taken during the dream of a luscious post holiday brunch nap. But not likely, even then.
So on to the changes. Since I am in a hurry I request Eric throw together a peanut butter and honey sandwich for me and he does so. Later, when lunch time arrives in my miserable little cubicle, I realize the sandwich is far better than anything I could've prepared, solely because Eric made it. These days I forget what it's like to be taken care of like a parent might. Eric goes the extra mile and makes me another sandwich, in case I get hungrier, featuring rice slice (fake cheese), tomatoe, salt, pepper, and garlic mustard. Later, during lunch after I realize I indeed am still hungry, I eat the strange sandwich and think to myself that I like it but that it's weird (like something my parents may have put in my lunch years ago, out of odds and ends in the fridge).
Yes, and on to the changes. The main change I experience as I brace myself for the cold that will inevitabley hit as I exit the front door of my building, is that the temperature has risen so considerably that I am actually comfortable walking down the street. I don't dread the two and a half block walk but rather embrace it, noticing the things around me again, such as the Polish market featuring all of the plants I want for my room, the Mexican children walking to school with their mothers (usually, sometimes fathers though) all bundled up as usual even though the temperature has risen, and the hipsters eating bagels at Bagel Factory and looking like they don't have to go to work today. It turns out that the temperature is up about fifteen degrees from what has become usual and we're all loving it. The relief I feel when I realize that going outside will not hurtle me into the throws of mental and physical anguish is loverly and scrumptious. I want this weather to last until all of the black crack rocks of snow are gone and have slushed down the slopey streets and into the drain pipes and then the filthy East River. The process has been slow. But I can see them leaving like unwelcome guests on our streets.
I gazed at one of the piles of snow today, thinking solemnly of the story of Frosty the Snowman and how everyone was sad when he melted. And for a moment I felt sad for the huge blocks of black snow on the streets.