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Artifacts of the Snow

It was fifty degrees yesterday. The sun was warm and enveloping, and the light was bright, unimpeded by heavy clouds. On such a day, it’s impossible not to hope for daffodils reaching for the sky and baby leaf buds revealing themselves.

I spied, in order, an old boot without a heel, a mummified burrito, and lots and lots of dog crap

In Chicago, we call this spring.

As the hard-packed snow recedes, alleys and sidewalks bloom with the detritus of the city; scraps of humanity frozen fast and buried beneath layers of ice since the first flakes flew. Things spit out, half-consumed, or flicked away—gum, beer cans, cigarette butts. Things tossed from car windows, fallen from garbage trucks, dropped by children—coffee cups, desiccated lettuce, Barbie heads. Things removed from bodies—Band-Aids, gloves, condoms. The item I don’t understand is underwear. How does someone take off his underwear and just sort of drop them? The condom I get, but an XL pair of Fruit of the Looms seems inexplicable.

A veneer of snow and ice sealed Chicago tightly only one short week ago. The entire metropolis seemed as if it had been shellacked and, if not whitewashed, then gray-washed. It looked like Yeti’s LSD fantasy—a Tim Burton-ish Currier & Ives etching—and it sucked. Bad.

Give me those alley underwear any day.

Posted by T.M. Goeglein on 03/19 at 09:54 AM