Saturday, December 27, 2008


There has been no recycling or garbage pick up in a month, maybe more. The bins are overflowing, both at home and on the street. People have stopped picking up their dog messes because once bagged, there is no place to throw them. The streets are filthy, Titan has a sore paw, I am out of wine and I CANNOT GET THIS PLASTIC CONTAINER OF PINEAPPLE OPEN.

However. The Starbucks are still operating. All is not lost.

I was standing by the side of the road on Monday, shivering in the 25 degree weather, waiting for the tow truck, watching the de-icing truck cover the spot I'd just slipped off, and all I could think was, "There are eleven people coming to my house in an hour and I will not be there. Also my place is a mess and I have no provisions. I had counted on having an extra hour to clean. Also I can't get there and I can't get to the store first anyway. What the heck am I going to do about all of this? Also, should I call the insurance company?"

My friend Calsee actually got into a head-on collision on Aurora and walked away without a scratch, a Christmas miracle, and as her roommate went to go pick her up and drive them both home, all Calsee could think about was apples. "I have no apples," she told Kit, her roommate. Later on when they got home she scoured their cupboards for apples. As they repaired for the night--again--Kit asked Calsee if she really felt okay. "I'm okay," Calsee said, "but I never got my apples!"

The human mind, when put under stress and cooped up and after noticing that the daily routines it depends on have completely failed, does very, very weird things. It reminds me of seeing Children of Men with a friend of mine. (It's a phenomenal movie, by the way. If you haven't seen it, do it. But perhaps not during the holiday season.) It's supposedly set in 2027, and the friend and I argued about whether England--and the rest of the world as we know it--could descend into that kind of chaos and despair in 19 years.

Given the rate at which Seattle has shut down given a complete lack of city support for three weeks, I'm increasingly sure that it could.

Boy, am I cheerful or what? Sorry. I just find human nature so fascinating. What makes minds go crazy? Why do they do it? What makes compulsions like OCD seem better than facing reality? Why did I only focus on my party after I'd run into a guardrail?


arwen said...

once, a friend over-corrected herself over a cliff and nearly into a river, her car hanging in some trees.
She got out just fine with only a few scratches, but then....

she got BACK INTO THE CAR that was nestled over the river in some trees..... to get a movie that was due back to Blockbuster later that day.

Its so much easier than confronting the fact that you could have just been seriously injured...... :/

Aarwenn said...


That's impressive. In a frightening, why-do-our-brains-DO-that?-kind of way.