Monday, February 07, 2005

Stasis or continuity?

Remember that scene in Flirting with Disaster when, as a part of a seemingly endless quest for his birth parents, Ben Stiller et al. arrive in Michigan? They have just left sunny San Diego and they fly in to somwhere--Kalamazoo-zoo-zoo?--in the midst of a gray sky that seems to start about 10 feet above ground level, snow, darkness, cold.

That shit is real.

Granted, the temperatures here are above freezing (barely), which means that the ooze coming from the sky is liquid instead of festive flurries, but the effect is the same that I remember from years and years of flying into DTW in the wintertime: from the air, flying through the midwest, you see snow snow snow on the ground, and it is so pretty and all the streets are delineated as black lines amid the white. The sun is shining and it is altogether brilliant, if cold-looking. Then before long the ground disappears, replaced by a seemingly impermeable cloudbank. Then as you are landing, you enter that nowhereland of clouds, and then re-emerge underneath it, where everything is gray and drab and dark and usually precipitating. That is when you remember where you are.

And even though this picture was taken in NYC, it could very easily have come from outside the coffeshop where I am working:

(Photo stolen from you should read his excellent post about slush.)

So maybe it is because the weather is the same, or the mural of Kafka and Woody Allen and Poe is the same, or because even where stores have changed they are pretty much the same, or because the people all look the same (only with different faces) or because tonight, I hear, I get to go drink my favorite beer, but it is hard to believe that anything changes here.

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