Bent Words

Bent Words

March 30, 2006

Nearly every vehicle that speeds down my two lane, one-way street has their windows down. Motorcycles rumble by, their numbers increased, and the fresh scent of warm air fills the space of my living room.

Spring is finally here (for now, anyway).

And thus begins the traditional rituals of spring-time weather; a time when everyone wears a smile instead of a winter coat and running errands across town seems less tedious in lieu of the verdant grass on the side of every road. Everywhere you go, people just seem... well, nicer.

In the morning, my usually agitated gas station clerk comments cheerfully on the glorious day ahead of us. She even grants me a dollar off of my Deluxe Car Wash despite the fact that I did not get gas today.

Walking into Kohl's, a woman holds the door for me and, for the first time that I can recall, a cashier smiles and says hello without first seeing the glint of my nearly tapped, gold Visa card. I do not mind chatting, well beyond my clothing exchange, with the girl who purchased a motorcycle from me a few years ago. We each take turns giggling over the 65 degree weather before saying good bye.

At the grocery store, no one sneers at me as I hop onto my cart and ride gleefully down the produce isle. Not a single soul rolls their eyes when I cause five cucumbers to tumble to the ground and, to my surprise, the avocados are actually ripe. On the way out, my regular bagger remembers my preference of plastic over paper and I even take the time to return the cart to its companions inside.

Driving home with all four windows down, a stranger waves as I let him cross the street with his bicycle. Couples, young and old, take to their front yards to sweep the steps, trim the branches on their trees or simply catch up with their neighbors. A group of kids toss a football back and forth and so far I have counted 12 people wearing t-shirts and jeans.

Itís amazing Ė the difference a warm, spring day will make after a long endless winter.

People walk taller with their chins in the air. The laughter of students grows louder on the campus sidewalks. Groups with bare feet fill volley ball courts and you can tell who doesnít like country music for the stereos blaring behind rolled down windows.

Soon, Iíll be dusting off my mountain bike to tour the various parks spread throughout Waukesha; stopping for popcorn and brats as the local baseball diamonds finally open their gates. Soon Iíll be putting some fresh gas into the motorcycle and taking her out on the winding, salt-free country roads.

Soon, but not today.

Today Iím just going to enjoy the spring weather; the happiness such warmth can provoke, and curse the fact that April showers are undoubtedly going to ravage my Deluxe Package, Spot-Free, dollar discounted car wash.

Written at 2:35 p.m.