snow days, sleazeballs and san francisco scenes

It’s two degrees, having not warmed up since five this morning, and another foot or more of snow is laying itself down on top of at least three feet we’ve gotten in the past week. Besides being frigid outside—the subzero windchill factors don't help—the sidewalk snow and sandy sludge is so craggy and deep in places that when I dare to take Nellie out for a jaunt we must walk in the street. As for Calvin, getting outside is impossible. It’s too cold and he doesn’t have boots. I’ve yet to find a pair that I can get his feet into with his orthotics or that he can manage walking in on the flat hardwood floor much less deep, uneven snow and ice. Yesterday, when a car zoomed past flattening Nellie and I against the snowbank, I kindly signaled the driver, who had a teenage boy as a passenger, to slow down. In response, the clean-cut man wearing an evil little elfish smirk, pantomimed jerking off.

“Pig!” I yelled, and I knew if Michael had been with me the sleazeball wouldn’t have assaulted me in such a way.

I've had my fill of asshole bully drivers who force me over, cut me off, ride my ass, flip me off and think they own the road. Seeing as how Maine doesn't really have a traffic problem, perhaps the bitter winters here exacerbate these losers' baseless rage. Michael was more magnanimous than I, saying that maybe the driver was having a bad day. I figured the guy was very simply a major jerk.

This, for a number of reasons my least favorite time of year in Maine, causes me to pine more than usual for San Francisco where, right about now, things are blooming, like the star jasmine which sends me into a swoon, or the bright red bottle brush, which looks a lot like it sounds, or the bougainvilleas parading their rosy blossoms in a beautiful tangle alongside fences and painted walls. If I were there now, sans Calvin, I might be hiking the hills of Mt. Tamalpais with Dave looking out over a gleaming Pacific or walking under a Tennessee Valley sun thinking of young August, who I never had the pleasure of meeting but whose ashes are there sparkling in the surf. Maybe I'd take the N-Judah out to Ocean Beach by myself or with Heather or Monica, or skinny dip and body surf with Robert and Larry at Baker Beach, or pound a beer or two with Dougie and Pam and maybe even Brook and Mike and Les, before thrifting in my good ole neighborhood, The Haight. Perhaps I’d be shooting the shit in a dive bar with Garzeloni or drowning myself in a North Beach latte topped with a golden heart cast in espresso and foam or chowing down some Chinatown dim sum from a little paper box with a wire handle. Maybe I’d head into The Mission and nosh a piping hot shrimp quesadilla with Alison, then check out her new paintings, which I know are out of this world. Maybe I’d join Doniece for a glass of wine and maybe Sara and Stephanie and Uli and Angela and Lauren and Killian would show up and maybe Sadik, too, and we'd all confer on how to make the world a better place. Perhaps I’d sit amongst the peeling eucalyptus of Golden Gate Park listening to Seth play The Lobster Song on his guitar. Maybe I’d ride a cable car out past my father’s childhood home, over Russian Hill to the wharf, then take a ferry to Sausalito. Maybe I’d go with Gwen to visit Rachel at her groovy shop then listen to live Jazz over bourbon on ice, or just wander the city streets with my camera shooting cool old houses and vistas beyond belief seen from the top of every hill. Whatever I'd do, I'd be missing Michael if he weren't there too.

Instead, I'm with Calvin who is home from school enduring his fourth snow day in a week. The storm is bad enough that we're trapped inside while he goes from spinning in the jumper to bouncing in bed to banging the shutters to mouthing his toys to climbing the stairs to eating his meals and back again, all the while playing Joni Mitchell ad nauseam trying to sooth his savage shrieks, which are as cutting as the chill outside. But at least he hasn't had a daytime tonic-clonic seizure in over five months and at least, as a result, I'm not tense and looking over my shoulder every five minutes, and at least he's happy today and at least spring is closer than it was yesterday and at least the Super Bowl hoo-ha is over and at least the douchebag in the speeding car is already becoming a distant memory, the tracks he laid down now verily plastered with snow.

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