Yesterday afternoon: me in the gym lockerroom, post-sweatyness, pulling on clothes. No one else around, the place quiet. I'm buttoning, I'm zipping, lost in thought. I sit down, begin to pull on boots. From the line of winter coats hanging a few feet away, a cheery song starts quietly up. It play for a while -- faint, well-mannered -- then stops. A few seconds later, from a different coat, another song begins, plays quietly for five or ten seconds, stops. As I'm leaving, yet another starts up.
Cellphones, left in coat pockets.
And this is one of the nice aspects of a small town. People can leave cellphones like that, in a coat pocket, knowing the phone will still be there when the coat gets pulled on post-workout, its human heading back out to the day. Same way lots of folks here return a smile on the street, return a hello.
This morning: me, in bed, drifting and out of sleep. The house lay still, absolutely quiet, the world outside quiet as well. And at some point, I became aware of the sound of footsteps off in another part of the building. Quiet, but clear. My eyes opened, I listened, knowing that all outside doors were locked, that I was the only person on premises. The steps ceased, I heard silence, nothing more. The household ghost, first time I've heard it in well over a year.
Rain fell all morning, the temperature hovered around the freezing mark, slowly edging upward as the hours passed, the air feeling soft, almost balmy. Serious, intense rainfall, generating plentiful snowmelt that combined with the rising temperature to produce fog (snow ghosts, I've heard this kind of fog called), drifting in spectral fashion across the fields and hills. A week ago, we had a two or three day long thaw, followed immediately by days of intense, bitter cold. Snowmelt from the thaw gathered in large pools, the ground too hard to absorb it, refreezing when the mercury plunged. A week ago I had a driveway. Now I have a skating rink. A big one.
If this keeps up, I may be forced to round up skates, see if my inner Brian Boitano wants to come out and play.