There's an episode of Twilight Zone that struck me when I saw it decades ago and has stuck with me ever since. Holdouts in a post-evacuation city are freezing in ice-encrusted rooms in one scene and boiling in a solar furnace the next.
As I write this, my hands are nearly numb with cold. Plug in a heater, why not, and throw some more coal on next summer. There'll be "cooling centres" with air conditioners to heat up the sky. Only outsiders like those wandering the Twilight Zone will suffer. Stay inside the car, the complex - you'll be fine.
Meanwhile, back on the street, hacking the ice off a hanky, risking nosebite to walk six blocks out of the way. Extreme low temperatures snap plastic. Bone buttons shatter.
My resolve hardens, like the water in the big hole left where they tore out the woods near the tracks where homeless people lived. Now I have a private skating rink. Not exclusive. But only me. It's beautiful, with panoramic views of de- and con-struction and office furniture frozen in - even a natural goal post formed by a metal bed frame.
Kinda lonely being the only member of the league, but the ice time is all mine. Soon the whole place will be a sunken garage with towers on top. I've learned to skate through change.
I've never seen so many shivering starlings on the skinny trees as this afternoon. Their big, big trees were quickly felled for an all-winter project in concrete. Living beauty, age and grace sacrificed to human hubris.
I put 12-grain cereal out for the birds - on a blue plate so they'd see it. But they don't want a dish. They like it scattered. But then it snows. The wild cats leave footprints in the white. I talked to them in the summer when they came in through the window and explained why they can't live with me.
Where did the people who lived in the woods go? How many souls will lose their lives because they have no way to keep their bodies warm? If someone is outside, shouldn't you invite them in? Let them stay while you're Escaping The Everyday, as the streetcar wrapper holiday ad says.
Why not Face The Everyday and make it, if not pleasant, at least more tolerable? Render escape unnecessary. On this one I definitely need backup.
Frigid last night. I saw a woman crying in a phone booth. Her hands were bare. I addressed her as she crossed the street, asked if she had gloves, but she was upset and kept going. Then I got the bright and propinquitous idea to call in at the corner bar to ask for unclaimed handwear from the lost and found. The woman took the gloves. She can use them on my hockey team.
Later on, I lost a fortune from my messy pocket, a $20 bill I'd been saving for frivolous necessities. Should have/could have had a right spree. That'll learn me. Found two dimes on the floor just to make it poetic and funny.
And, yes, people I've met who have no homes have often stayed at mine. But, in a voice less soft than I use for the cats, I tell them they can't live with me either.
Took me hours to believe what I didn't want to one night a bit back. I was starving but couldn't open a can. My Swiss Army knife was missing. Last I saw it, Buddy was fixing his harmonica. My crucial tool went into his collection. Saw him when I went in the rain to the dollar store for an opener. He had the nerve to complain about the bad action on the blades in my old knife. The dollar store opener broke after one can of soup.
It's thanks to Buddy's gifting himself that I went out and got a brand new Victorinox of the model named Spartan. Perfect for beans in the cold and picnics in the hot. I'm ready.