Anyway, I had work to do. Yard sale next Saturday. The attic needed to be emptied and its contents relegated for keeping, selling, or dumping. Acoustically, this attic is the best rain room in the house. Steady drumming just on the other side of the low-pitched roof, but softened by the pink wadding of insulation in the walls. A good place to sit down on a sleeping bag with a hot tea and read an old National Geographic under the big Southern Pacific Lines map showing the Overland Route and the Cotton Belt Route and the Sunset Route snaking across 1952 America. But not today. There were birdsnest fallings and mouse droppings to sweep up and decisions to be made. The old pink-maned hobby horse? Yard sale. Rebecca, the stuffed llama made of real llama wool? Keeper. The globe with the loose part rattling around inside? Goodbye. And what about the boxes full of Harpers and New York Times Magazines and New Yorkers and Smithsonians? Case by case. Got to have something to read in there. And Matthew's artwork, going back to preschool? (He's in high school now.) I steeled myself for ruthless culling. Unfolded a lifesize penguin made of black thin white-painted foam, with paper glasses tied on with yarn and a headdress of yellow and orange feathers. One last look. It goggled back at me. I frowned, folded it back in the portfolio. Fine. Stay, you lot, but keep out of sight. As for the air mattress with the mysterious leak and the twenty generations of tote bags and the three garbage bags of packing peanuts—arrest the usual suspects.
Meanwhile, more fat just-kidding/no-joke snowflakes falling through the rain like a cooking error or an inept Hollywood effect. But not quitting. Making a statement: I'm the weather. Really. So respect me. Get the scraper out of the back of the garage, that's it. Thank you very mush.