It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I've spent the last hour watching my neighbors shovel about four feet of snow off the roof of their house. If you're reading this in the south or southwest, you might be saying "huh?" For that matter, if you're reading from downstate it might sound peculiar, but yes, at least once every winter we have to shovel the snow off the rooftops of our houses. Right now, for instance, I should be outside planted in the snow on the roof. I can't, because I'm under doctor's orders to "take it easy." I have conveniently managed to take it easy NOT AT ALL, except for the roof situation. I don't want to shovel snow off the roof. I don't want to get dressed in layers -- I'm sick of layers -- climb over a snowbank to get the ladder, drag the ladder through snow up to my shoulders, awkwardly haul myself onto the roof which would really, to be accurate, be more like hauling myself into the snow on the roof, and then endure several hours of physical labor in order to make a mere dent in the accumulation.
I'm thinking maybe it'll melt. The sun's out, it's almost 40 degrees, some of it is melting. If I had to estimate, I'd guess that the snow's mass has decreased, throughout the day, by about 1/10 of one percent. So if we have -- what? -- ninety nine? nine hundred and ninety nine? -- more days of mild weather, it might all melt. (Do not, under any circumstances, do the math. I'm a poet. Poets can't count.)
Meanwhile, I'm worrying that if it all DID melt, quickly, there'd be so much runoff that our house might slide down the ridge. It'd be like those California landslides, only worse, because it would be me.
And then I'm thinking wow, if all the snow melted and the ground was so saturated that the house slid down the ridge and I SURVIVED, that would make a really good essay.
Sometimes I kind of wish I had my feet up, the t.v. on; I wish I had a six pack of something intoxicating and was getting ready to watch the Superbowl. No worries. No pretend conversations in my head where I say something stupid or something charming or something profound or, in short, something I'd never actually say. No daydreams where a nurse takes my pulse and flirts with me and, I suspect, earlier, as I emerged from a faint, leaned over and kissed me on the forehead.
But then I think nah... Nothing's better than spying on the neighbors and watching the afternoon pass by -- drip by cold, melting drip -- daydreaming and thinking, however lazily, about the next essay, the next poem. The next sweet kiss on a cold winter day.