Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The World Emerges Slowly

Looking down MMU hill after I've locked my bike to a damp rack this morning.  Lights disappear in the mist.

A bicycle ride on a cool foggy morning:  The world is more acoustic than visual.  The lights of the street and cars are smears in yellows and whites, and shapes of trees, signs, houses emerge as if they were being extruded from some world-making machine.  Did I remember my towel?  Can I come up with the question for which the answer is 42?

Because the world is so visually muted, you almost expect sounds to be also muted, too, but it is not so.  There is a strange quiet to the morning commute, but it’s because most cars crawl along a bit, drivers straining to see beyond the grey barrier.  All except for that one jerk in the ugly black SUV who zooms across lanes and careens around the corner of Blairs Ferry and C Avenue.  I hope he emerges from the fog in the neighborhood of a police cruiser, and they stop his sorry butt.

A poet once said that fog comes in on little cat feet.  Carl Sandburg was wrong, of course.  Little cats are rambunctious and their feet go “thump, thump, thump.”  Fog comes on old cat feet, sneaking round like the old Tom who doesn’t want to arouse interest from those darn youngsters, and say away from my food bowl or you’ll find out my clawless front feet can still cuff you pretty hard.

I was a bit concerned about the commute this morning.  Of course, I ran with lights on and didn’t need sunglasses.  I have to cross several busy streets.  But, while the mist shrouded the world, it was a veil, not pea soup.  I could see well enough and the cars were going slow enough that it was actually one of the easiest rides I’ve had.

The misty air settled on me a bit, and I felt damp.  But I’ve had days where I had to stop to wipe my glasses.  This morning wasn’t like that.  The fog just added a bit of mystery to the ride, and the cool air felt pleasant, despite the damp.

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