Thursday, February 14, 2008

Second Base.

It snowed for several hours last night, and for an hour longer than they said it would, and we did not get the slushy inch they wanted to give us— instead, we got maybe two inches on everything that's not the street or the driveway, powdery, light, stacked up on the branches, on the tabletop, on the porch. This morning we're knife-edge clear, deep blue sky, sun jumping off everything, melting already started. They want us at 55 by this afternoon. Here's a little parenthetical snow, then, a reminder, a dictionary entry, an example. Snow.

The streets did slush, though, enough to close the schools, which would be, it seems to me, if you were 13, in every other instance a cause for celebration, except that it's Valentine's Day, and if you're not even going to be at school, then how are you going to time the whole hall pass thing just right so that you can meet Kim Phillips in the stairwell midway through third period to totally french her for like five entire minutes, and perhaps, since it's a holiday, work your hand up maybe under her shirt a little, which you've never done before, and then give her her half of the sterling silver heart which says 'forever' and which you bought at Spencer's at the mall (only barely sneaking a glance a the back of the store where such mysteries are for sale as edible underwear—you cannot yet understand how or why such an event might occur) and which has a kind of jagged cut down the middle, such that there are two pieces of jewelry here, the idea being that you wear your half and she wears her half forever and for all the rest of time?

It doesn't matter. Soon enough she leaves you for your friend Chris Orsey, whose father has recently committed suicide, and you continue to wear your half of the necklace anyway, because how will you love again, and somehow it is your relationship that piques the interest of much of the eighth grade, and sides are chosen, yours and hers, and on yearbook signing day at the end of the year, your new girlfriend Jenny Somebody—many years later, on a snow day, you won't even be able to remember her last name—walks up to Kim Phillips and slaps her in the mouth and knocks her to the ground. She is the man who will fight for your honor. If no one else did, Peter Cetera understood the difficulties of your life.

It snowed. It's surpassingly beautiful out there. More than we deserve. Stay home. Get up under each other's shirts out there, friends and fans of weather. It'll all work out in the end. Happy Valentine's Day. Happy snow. We're gonna live forever.


Kathryn Frances Walker said...

best valentine thing i've ever read. i know you like that prairie home companion business but i've always hated it. one year, though, back when i lived in seattle, it was valentine's day, and my sister and her old boyfriend david had been nice enough to ask me to go out with them because they knew i didn't have no daggum valentine. something about it, though, made it worse, because they were at a time when it seemed so perfect, the two of them together, and i was having the woes of a nineteen year old who thinks she'll never, ever find a valentine. on the radio when i was going to sleep was daggum prairie home companion, and garrison keillor told this completely heartbreaking but bittersweet valentine story and i cried myself to sleep. i was so mad that he had managed to make me cry. i felt like a sucker.

Kathryn Frances Walker said...

oh, and also, i've been meaning to comment on your sidebar Stuart Dybek link. it links to poetry of his but have you read The Coast of Chicago? dang it all, i love the holy heck out of that book.

AMR said...

i second this from kathryn, and i hope you get your hand up somebody's shirt sometime soon... or at least get to wear half of some edible underwear. happy valentines day, snowman. oh yeah. nice photos.