Monday, May 15, 2006

OCTAVE IN HIS BEAR SUIT

Before we even stepped out of our respective doors this morning, Musgrave and I both independently knew that it was going to be a doozy. The entire Northeast was bogged down by torrental rain and all the morning programming was interrupted by grainy shots of men and women wearing vibrant yellow slickers navigating impromptu boats made out of their front doors down the muddy, debris-ridden canals that had once been their suburban streets. Musgrave and I met on the corner as planned and discussed such sights, all the while the puddles filled up to our ankles. At the crosswalks, regardless of where we were standing, cars, trucks, and even those octopus-like rickshaws splashed muddy water all over us. The rain was so extreme, in fact, that both Musgrave and I lost our senses. After neither of us could determine where exactly to catch the bus (even after consulting with a bus driver on his break and a police officer who was apparently high, as she looked at us intently and said "I'm looking straight at you, but I'm seeing that bus you're looking for,") we decided just to walk the 20 blocks. It was immediately a poor decision, for not seventeen steps along, a gust of filthy, frigid wind inside outed our umbrellas, which we discarded like the wings of wounded bats and continued on down the street. After an hour and a half, far after the paper with our bad directions had deteriorated, we came upon Ver Meer Street for a third time. We knew our place was right around there somewhere, but where? We both stood on the street corner, sopping, delerious and cold, and both agreed that Ver Meer was just about the dumbest street name anyone could imagine. Then we decided to trudge on. At one point, I narrowly missed stepping on what I realized was a flattened, drowned squirrel.

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