…High tonight, low tomorrow, precipitation is expected.
– Tom Waits
Nature was at war with itself last month – solitary balmy days sandwiched by cold snaps with gusty winds, the sky still bright at 7:30 pm, but with temps in the thirties. I ran at dusk, watching the light shift as clouds rushed in, reshaping ordinary things into creatures I couldn’t trust, and vice versa.
The dinosaur up ahead turned out to be a mobile crane with steel jaws. The old woman scrubbing bed sheets was a chopper draped in a tarp that flapped in the wind.
The north wind hit me full force on Broad Street. I turned my head and saw THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS stenciled in gold on an impressive glass entryway and, on either side of the entryway, the words TAX TIME printed in big bold caps on tall cardboard signs. I guessed that Mormons had abandoned their South Philly mission to a platoon of accountants.
I turned west on Passyunk and saw the sky split in half, a big black cloud on the right, a pink sunset bleeding into clear blue on the left. Kanye West was on the corner, scolding black people for choosing to be slaves. Stormy Daniels stumbled out of Fatso’s Bar, followed by Donald Trump’s slack-jawed lawyer – Cohen, his name is.
My life passed before my eyes. Everything reminded me of past mistakes and false assumptions. The skinny old smoker outside 7-11 was at death’s door. Or would he outlive me by 20 years?
I stopped running and phoned my friend Swamp Rabbit. “It’s high anxiety,” I said. “You know any remedies?”
“Time,” the Rabbit said. “This time next week it might be 90 degrees. This time next year, or the year after, Trump might be making a deal to stay out of jail.”
“You can’t control what’s coming, so get a grip,” he added. “Get some new glasses, too.”