Thursday, May 01, 2008

The things of which things consist

The city wakes in a foul mood most mornings, being in direct relation to the hockey score of the night before.

Cognitive dissonance, last week: It's 21 degrees outside and I'm staring at a patch of snow in the courtyard. (It's gone, finally.)

Coginitive dissonance, this week: It's bloody cold. Head hunched down, I watch commuters collect on the metro platform. Winter boots side by side with flip-flops. I'm mildly disgusted that so many would bare their ugly toes (let alone so early, so suddenly) in a city I'd always considered well-shod.

I'm having occasional bouts of spring-cleaning fever, and the closets are being attacked, in a (conceptually) systematic, if not exactly (physically) orderly, fashion. There's a coat in the closet, on J-F's side. He asks what I intend to do with it. I stare at him blankly for a while. I ask what he wants to do with it. "What do I care? It's not my coat." Umm. It's not my coat either. "Have you ever seen me wear this coat?" Umm. Have you ever seen me wear this coat? "Look at this coat! Can you even picture me wearing this coat? I wouldn't be caught dead wearing this coat." It's a large men's jacket, red with a plaid woolen lining. No, he wouldn't wear such a coat. I'd assumed his mother had given it to him. "How long has this coat been in our closet?" As long as I can remember. It's moved house with us. "It must've belonged to one of your ex-boyfriends." Umm. No. Not a one of them ever enjoyed the privilege of leaving a coat hanging about my closet. And I can't picture any of them being caught dead in it either. For two weeks now, the coat lies in a puddle in the middle of the bedroom floor, waiting to be claimed.

In a reversal of roles, Helena asks us to hurry up, please, as we try to get out the door in the morning. Because if we're late, there won't be room for her chair in among the girls. She'll have to sit with the boys, and she doesn't like that. All they do is burp and fart and make faces. Sigh. It doesn't get much better than that, kid.

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