What you don’t know about Minnesota might not affect your viewpoint of it. Maybe it is tattooed on your brain; ya know-Minnesota’s just colder, and that’s it. Generally, we accept the fact that this area is going to be colder than most, we do this because we are hearty, prepared, and a little masochistic. And this whole opening paragraph started with the idea that taking Metro Transit (The Bus) rather than your personal vehicle will save your life, and everyone else’s, and mother earth’s… But I don’t want you to think that I am biased, or some tree hugger, or rather, that I am jealous that you own a car, I want you to make up your own ideas after reading. I am more rational than that; proof be told, I wear a watch. If I had a vehicle it would have a shovel, a sleeping bag, and a set of chains in the trunk, next to the vodka. I know that is a fact.
I have thought about moving to a warmer clime-I am sure most have, but how far does that take us? Maybe to the liquor store down the street, maybe to talking about the shit weather and how we have to stock up on shit beer? I don’t know. I think that it just comes with the territory. I mean if I lived in California I would probably go crazy because the weather there is monotonous (and all of the people are fake). But probably more fake than in Uptown, so I’d have to make some trade-offs anyway, so you see it is better I stay. Just stay put. I would probably go just as crazy as I go when I see the sun outside and realize that I have 10 minutes in it before I lose my nose to frost bite. Before you go out, of course, you have to layer up in 20 to 30 pounds of duck down and jacket canvas. By the way, Long John’s are extremely sticky, itchy, smelly, and wet after you wear them for 2 weeks straight sans washing. I don’t have time to do the laundry; I am too busy bravely walking home from the Campus Connector drop-point at odd hours of the day.
I sit with soaked feet. I think of that one Coen Brother’s movie-just came out (Inside Llewyn Davis), where the protagonist is sitting at the bar, or some diner, perched really, over his steaming coffee, a storm in the background outside of the window, grey skies, and the camera pans below to show soaking socks clutched feet on the bar stool, and shoes below making good water pool foundations. What a sad, sad man. I think he had some coins in his pocket. I don’t, and my feet are cold. He drove, or hitchhiked to Chicago, I wandered through 3 feet of snow to get to where I had to go, and I made it, but not before getting soaked to the bone. Wet warm feet, under the desk, under the feet sit waterlogged suede leather low-top boots, brown, under those sit a puddle, some salt, some dirt, something that used to live in the fall, early fall-was green. You see the correlation. Now I sit, chair, yeah, it squeaks to a roll. I wonder what trench-foot feels like. I don’t want to know. I mean, I can relate to that character, save for the part about being a starving musician, I prefer non-artist. I give him credit though at least he tried to do something he was passionate about. I mean the characters around these parts mostly just talk about it. I wonder if they would leave it all behind for a chance. Leave the weather, leave the scene, leave friends and family-I wouldn’t either. That character’s got something on me. I wonder, but then I realize I am wasting my own energy on others, a bunch of sitters. You see, I don’t think they would much do that for me. It’s rather cold in these parts, I think I’ll stay. I wonder how Llewyn’s coffee tasted.
Last January, or two Januarys ago, I saw a girl in high-heels, black shiny, running to catch a bus. She was Downtown on Nicollet, Nicollet Mall to be exact. I was with a friend, I had just found a fancy Coach purse’ tag thing-leather and such, also black shiny, stamped with that expensive logo, I felt posh. I heard the bus. I saw the dim dots yellow. My eyes caught the girl wearing a dress, skimpy, double, also black shiny, something out of fashion for less than forty degrees. She was trying to catch the door. Wet ground below, she started backpedaling with her forearms the sinewy of her body resembled soft putty. One leg then the other, they lifted, and then she fell flat on her ass. She didn’t stop, slipping and sliding, the bus started forward. Lurching, really, with those big black shiny slick wheels, they crush like a sledgehammer on just about anything and everything. The bus driver intent on what’s ahead and behind, low peripheral, put it into gear and pressed down, on and forward, up and over. You know those moments you just want to forget? Like that last line, like now… Well, you can’t.
I thought of the sound of amplified cracked knuckles, breaking a wishbone with my bare hands, biting down on some raw almonds; they were less though, but it sort of sounded like that. I don’t think running to the bus is a fantastic idea when one takes into account self-preservation on a slippery sidewalk in Downtown. I made it to work on time, Coach-tag find on my key ring, thoughts in the clouds.
Minnesota is like that: one minute you are running to catch the bus, the next minute you are waiting for a bus that is late; the next minute the sun is out, and the minute after that it’s all rain. I ask for better days, but I enjoy the days I’ve got. I rather like them a lot. I sit and take the time to think, but why… Why would I want to move out of this place? I sit, wet feet, snacking on almonds, I am cold. The keyboard is shiny black.