There is a fine line betwen contentment and depression.
Now that it is more cold than not cold, my mind wanders into vaguer, darker places and if I'm not writing as much, it is only because I lack the power to describe these places.
Today is clear blue and freezing. Snow has tried to fall twice, unsuccessfully. I was strolling through a flea market, watching the vendors huddle around their kerosene heaters. They're excited, all talk revolves around the newborn cold. The air, if not business, is brisk. It is too much, on this day, to thumb through old books, knick-knacks, figurines, movie stills and end tables. After watching a pile of giveaway puppies scramble warmly around and over each other, putting on a show of undaunted cute exuberance, I smile and know that this scene is not for me and I wander out of the human traffic. I'm strolling now through an empty fairground. The ground is hard beneath my feet. The grass hasn't even thought of taking seed. A mass of starlings wheels overhead.
It's hard to describe why I'm here. Especially since I chose this place above all others to imagine as I sit at my desk and lazily punch my keyboard and make my phone calls. The birth of Christ does not interest me. Gifts hold little allure, in either their purchase or receipt. It's winter. It reared up all of a sudden. Came on us in the night.
Tonight, there will be lights and TVs in all the little windows and the trick of the light is projected in a reflection of holiday warmth and someone is napping, someone is simmering a stew of pork and root vegetables, some bars are loud with the steam of Friday's happy hour, almost everyone has a shopping bag or two in their arms, the homeless I see all seem to have extra blankets and are buried, head-to-toe, puffed up like juncos, for the night.
Am I content or finally sliding the black slope into a different kind of place? Does it matter what you call it? I need to remember my gloves tomorrow.