I keep telling everyone that I'm not used to the weather here: warm and then suddenly windy. I went out the door one day and someone sunbathing on the front lawn said "a beanie? It's pretty warm, man." Later that day I passed through a cemetary where gusts kicked up swirling leaves, as if the weather had intervened to supply the appropriate tone. Two picnickers were sitting on the windiest side of a tree, both facing its source, looking disappointingly unmiserable. I donned my hat, zipped up my sweater, and felt cinematic, ranging around the partitions of a chintzy neoclassical mausoleum while little waves whipped up on the square pools. I'm certain I didn't look cinematic. I'm not sure I've ever looked sillier. A friend once imitated the way I wrinkle my nose. I was shocked. I had no idea disgust translated so easily onto my face. At the same time, it's comforting to someone who most of the time looks stoned.
My comment that the weather is inconsistent here has become very consistent. The last person I repeated it to immediately lost interest in conversing. People catch on very quickly to one's parrot aspect. One of the people in this house saw a fruit fly and said "and so it begins." Whenever someone new came into the kitchen, he said it again, so that by the time he'd made breakfast, he had said "and so it begins" four times. It just kept beginning.
There was a very long line at the post office, and the man near the front of it kept making jokes about it. Nobody laughed. These paragraphs are taking the form of a monologue you don't want to encourage by responding to. But these kind of monologues don't ask for response. Is it a kind of encounter, or is it just "and so it begins"?
I've woken up to repeating noises twice in two days. The first was when it was still dark. I thought it was someone knocking at the door, but it kept going. I wasn't sure it was even audible, but I couldn't resist holding my breath to listen for it. When I listened I could hear it, underneath the city's white noise, a distinct thump thump thump thump, then lost. If I couldn't hear it, I felt it as a threat, like a monster around a corner.
Does one bring this up? I told the one who says "and so it begins" that I thought I heard someone knocking at the door the previous night, at three in the morning. (Untrue: I had no idea what time it was, because I didn't want to traverse the room to look at my phone.) But I didn't elaborate, I just said "I don't actually think somebody was. I probably just woke up from a dream, or something." I spent about three hours of that day thinking about asking someone else if they heard a strange noise. Was it ridiculous that I even humored the idea the noise resided anywhere but in my experience, or was it ridiculous that I couldn't ask?
The next morning it was chainsaws, which have a personality. Unable to see what was being sawed, it was just the rhythms of uncertain little revs like a dog yapping, and long, angry whines. I stared up at the ceiling, waiting for another VRRRR and then sighing with annoyance when it came. I kept thinking "and so it begins."