Breathing-Quiet Melt

The melt is underway.

There was at least eleven inches1 of nice dry powder.2 Then the ice storm moved through yesterday afternoon and evening, leaving a coat of clear varnish over every surface.

This morning it’s still cold, and there’s still almost a foot of snow, and the dogs still won’t get a walk. But little bits of half-liquid stuff is coming off the trees, the subtle breathing sound of freeway traffic in the distance has returned, and if you stand on the deck you can hear the creaking under the ice-glaze as the snow underneath melts.

The water is speaking. It’s like being in the throat of massive, dozing creature. I keep listening for a heartbeat.

It was good to have a weekend in. I mean, for over a year all our weekends have been in, because we’re in lockdown trying desperately not to spread infection. The Princess works at a grocer’s so we’re pretty sure at some point the plague will come home to roost, but at least we can be in the habit of not giving it to anyone else and we’re all in low-risk categories.

At least there’s that.

The photo on this post isn’t recent; it’s from the previous time we had snow.3 Generally it melts within a day; I can count on one hand the number of times it’s stayed longer in the, oh, let’s see, almost two decades I’ve lived in this town? I mean, I’ve been in the PNW most of my life at this point, but there’s something to be said for living in one distinct ville for a long while.

The deciduous trees have ice filigree on their branches; the cedars and other evergreens seem to be shaking off the coating first. I wonder how the cherry down the street that was flowering earlier last week is faring. As soon as the melt reaches a certain pitch4 I’ll be able to ramble the dogs. They need it–they’ve been wrestling with each other in the living room to take the edge off, but it’s a strategy with diminishing returns.

Today I start prep for an epic fantasy revision. Which will require stacking the previous books on my desk for reference while I go through and mutter at every instance of square brackets in the manuscript, mostly bearing some form of “look this up later, Future Me.”5

Past Me had a sense of humor. In fairness she wrote most of the damn book during lockdown and fascist coup, which will put a dent in anyone’s cognitive horsepower. Still, every time I see the brackets in the damn book I have to stop and look at my office ceiling, drawing in a deep breath and throttling the urge to scream.

Meanwhile, the dogs will probably be startling at branches and stuff hitting the roof as the melt accelerates. There will, I am sure, be a lot of barking. But with the warming up I can maybe slither out of a few layers, and hopefully by afternoon the street will be clear enough to ramble, if not run.

All in all I am very bruise-tender right now. One can have the thickest of skins, but repeated walloping still hurts. I dislike loving something so much and being so very bad at it that an intervention is suddenly called. Best just to quietly step aside and let others have it.

But that’s (say it with me) another blog post, or probably not. Here’s hoping the melt continues, and that soon the dogs–and I–will have fidgets worked out. I haven’t run in days, and the strain is beginning to mount. It will be nice to get out and think about things while pounding the pavement, just as soon as the weather clears.

Over and out.

  1. I am twelve on the inside and have to be restrained from making the obligatory joke…
  2. The Better Off Dead jokes were flying fast and furious, though nobody in my house got them except me. I AM OLD.
  3. I’d have to go back through the blog and check when that was, but that’s not gonna happen this morning.
  4. Let’s just hope for no flooding.
  5. I’m a goddamn comedian.