Frigid weather here in the Upper Midwest. Breaking 0°F today might require a miracle of epic proportions, although the weather app says we’ll be flirting with that possibility at -1°F for the predicted high temp. Forget about what the air feels like when you factor in the wind. Razors and pins, I tell you… Knives and needles. Skies are steel and something they swear is snow, but feels like ice pellets, is supposed to blow around and fall on us. Winter is here, the spirits seem to want to make us realize.
And, as always, they overdo it a little bit.
It’s all very melancholy when you get down to it, which is why it probably reminds me of The Replacements ode to the cold and something Minnesota has in spades: Skyways.
I know other places have skyways, but they are late to the party — we had them well before anyplace else. To be fair, the state university in Bemidji, Minnesota relies more on tunnels than on skyways to get around this time of year, but that’s a different kind of mood than the melancholy of roaming downtown, always looking down onto the street unless you are down there, freezing off your ass waiting for a transit bus. What makes it even more so is, when you are down on the streets, the snow has lost any magical charm it might have had when falling, and becomes a grey, dirty, slushy, shitty mess.
So — melancholic is the word for days like today.
You take the skyway High above the busy little one-way In my stupid hat and gloves, at night, I lie awake Wonderin' if I'll sleep Wonderin' if we'll meet out in the street
Sometimes life feels like I am people-watching from the street and you (whomever you are) are one of the people I am watching from below, one of those beautiful people passing through the skyway on your way someplace interesting and entertaining while I, being of a practical nature, am in my second-hand military surplus woolen cap and gloves, waiting to catch a ride. And, for weeks, I watch you go by above me at the same time every day, being the beautiful person (whomever) you are.
Then I say, Screw this, very loudly in my head and decide to take some decisive action, go introduce myself to whomever you are, and let you know in no uncertain terms that I find you interesting (and beautiful) for all those times I watched you walk high above me with all the other beautiful people. So I go up to the skyway, just another bum, wildly looking for you to make your daily traversal and…
Oh, then one day I saw you walkin' down that little one-way the place I'd catch my ride most every day There wasn't a damn thing I could do or say Up in the skyway