Submitted by megan on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 18:40
I worked from home today because my office was being fumigated. We're above a restaurant and we have cockroaches. I was the only person completely in favour of spraying, I think. Every one else is worried about cancer, and fair enough, but they are all also the people who call me every time they see a cockroach. I love my co-workers, and that's honest, but fuck me, I am tired of killing their cockroaches.
Part of the reason I get called in is that I've gotten blasé about the roaches. They - my coworkers - started calling me the Terminator after I used a metal ruler to behead a roach that was only half under S's desk. The small ones I kill with my bare hands, a thoughtless reflex.
Back in the day, when we started finding them - rather, when they started showing up in my office, which is directly above the kitchen - I'd scream and jump around, shaking my hands in the air like I was trying to brush them out of my psychic space. I'd grab for the nearest a book or something else solid and heavy to smash them.
That stopped a few months ago. Why bother and fuss with finding stuff when you can just slam your fist down and be done with it?
That's why god invented soap, as far as I'm concerned.
The cockroaches are how I could take what I think might be this season's last run along the river. It was warm this afternoon, maybe plus 2 or 3, and the snow was melted and mushy, the top of the ice was water. It was slick, slow going.
By the time I'd reached the 5th willow, where I turn around, I was about two minutes behind in my playlist. I knew I would be, knew that if I wanted to end where I normally do, with enough time to walk and cool down, but not enough to get cold, I'd have to turn back much sooner. But my wet feet carried me forward, my brain churning through songs I could add on at the end, to end me in the right place without missing the spots I needed to see, at least one more time before next spring.
There are two of them. The first is an old one, at the top of Parkdale Avenue where it loops onto the Parkway. The second I've only discovered as my lungs have gotten stronger, about a half click before the 5th willow. Both because you come around a corner and the river opens up in front of you. Goes from a bit of water, the other shore just there, a stone's swimming throw away, to oh. Oh.
Is the word that always hums in those moments just as I catch the difference.
In those spots, the river is always at its most, whatever that is that day: calm, crested, brown, slate, green, mist. The smell is always fresh water, dead and fertile or whipping clean. Humans have built around and over and through the river, but not stopped it.
It cracks my chest big and wide and perfectly, tenderly, open, every single time.