There is an apricot tree in our backyard. It only bears a good bit of joy every couple of years or so, but its use is far more important than a bumper crop of methane-inducing fruit. The tree acts as a weather forecaster, a warning system, and depending on how you feel about snow, a harbinger of doom.
When late autumn rolls around, and the ground is covered because the branches are bare, our apricot tree, while not lush, still looks bloomy.
A few good rain storms will happen, with maybe a bonus-pack of fierce wind and bone-chilling cold attached, and still the tree will hang onto its leaves. Maybe there's only enough that you can count them at this point, but there they are, hanging valiantly on. Fight, little leaf, fight! Stay put! Don't move! Valiant, valiant leaf! And I will stare gloomily out the window, willing the little ones to hang on, resisting the urge to duct tape them to their branches.
And then, long after all its friends have done it, long after all the other trees have shed their clothes and jumped naked in the air, my apricot tree will drop it's bit of bikini foliage, and stand shuddering, and we will watch and shiver and wait, because it's only a matter of days before the goddamn, bloody snow falls.
The goddamn, bloody snow has fallen. I woke up this morning, looked out my window and groaned. Not only have the snowflakes fallen, they've decided to stay, and carpet the ground, and call their friends and have a party. Obviously, this year's first staying snowfall is a part of the in-crowd at school, because the friends are still coming down, and the world will end up looking like that big party in Sixteen Candles, where the house got T.P.'d, and Long Duck Dong was hanging from a tree. Except this time, it will be traffic and ice and slush and scary driving, and frightening sidewalks that make me fall down and break bones and end up in plaster for seven months.
It's best that it happens now, I suppose. I'm feeling anaesthetized and uncaring of what's going on around me; it's easier to nap than worry these days, and so what usually gets me down down down every year is now just a simple bit of snow. Besides, most of my Christmas shopping has been done anyway. Once I get that out of the way, I can go on guilt-free auto-pilot for the rest of the year.
Looking at falling snow can be numbing, you know. I suppose, at the end of the day, that's what I want most right now.
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