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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The State of Things

There is something comforting about stepping outside on these cold mornings. Old Fort Road is blue and dark intermittenetly broken by cones of sickly orange light from street lamps; the horizon is rimmed with wispy veil of clouds and it's quiet. Only one house, the one directly across from ours, has it's porch light on.

I am immediatly reminded of the duplexes that I grew up in. Particularly, i am reminded of the first days of school. It's these days, right after weeks and weeks of warm long mornings and sleeping late, that are the most memorable. I sleepily carried out the trash. I would sling the bag over my shoulders to make it easier to carry. It banged on the backs of my legs as i walked the distance of the driveway towards the sagging decrepid tower of duplex mailboxes, each with their mouth's hanging slightly open (ours never closed right). There, around this leaning tower, the trash was huddled like wrinkled black football players.

It was cold too. Even in my sweater. My mother didn't have the foresight (or the time) to start up the car twenty minutes before we left so it could warm up, so we would sit in the car and wait for the heater to crank up. The exhaust would billow behind the car, and the foggy windows would slowly become transparent. The school was literally right around the block so it wasn't long before i was pulling my sweaer off to keep from sweating in class.

And this is what i think of when i step out in the mornings, as i pull myself into my own car warming it up for our trip into town. One house over, light seeps through the cracks of the garage door; if i listen hard enough i can hear the neighbor loading herself into her SUV. Her door opens and she slides out and waves. I wave back, start up the car, and retreat back into the house.


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