Tuesday, February 3, 2009

more of the same

It’s raining again today. Another day off isn’t as fun as I thought. I am always a victim of my weakest desires. Sloth slips into the mindset and reflects up from the rainy streets of my little backwater town. My town is just like yours, sometimes it looks ugly. But don’t be overly concerned, it’s only a reflection.

I wanted another day off even though I have nothing to do. It’s four days now of rain. I haven’t left the house for three. I find myself a bit antsy at getting back into the vines, and antsy about having to go back there too. It’s winter. The work is outside. Without the sunshine the taille is just hard core migrant stoop work. But without the taille, I am just an exile in the backwaters of France, on a nasty, gray, rainy day. Do you see my dilemma?

Oh, winter rain. This isn’t the light, silver mist of spring, that highlights the almost florescent green, just budding landscape as it shocks itself back to life. This is a flat out, gray-nearing black, winter incident. It’ s the feeling of a three day nor’easter when it runs into five and all the big storm excitement has dissipated and just the nagging wind and the insistent wet gray remain.

I stand at the doors in the kitchen to smoke my endless cigarettes. From here, I look out onto the place. Sometimes I see other smokers on their little balconies, or hanging out their windows, but we are far enough away to be anonymous. In the sun, this little balcony where I look out from is the full-on romantic vision of the south of france. Today it is not.

Today it looks out onto what you might refer to as a crumbling forgotten town. Grey and cold, and half deserted. Like a Nebraska town in winter. Scattered with old wind blown snow piles on the main street, with no signs of active life anywhere. There is no center of action. A weak light in a shop windows reveals no one behind it. In another, you glimpse a man sitting motionless at his desk. The barber shop looks like it closed one day and no ones returned in years. You think - my god - how do they do it. How do they come to live here, what do they do here, why do they stay?

The rain is falling. Slowly, constantly. There is a clear precise light on the wet buildings, wet trees, wet ground. It contrasts sharply with the diffuse, vague gray mass that hovers just above the town. It throws some details, usually blanched out by the sun, starkly into focus. They aren’t pretty. The stains of a thousand years of patched living are leaching out of the mortar that holds this town together. The shutters are rotting and the wrought iron rusting. The cars are all dented and the crown of the statue chipped. The garage doors are tagged and the garbage overflowing. Nebraska, France. Bienvenue!

It will be better tomorrow. At least that’s what they say. I have to believe them when they say the weathers changing. It always does. Nothing lasts forever.

My vigneron, S., told M. Guy he would stop over as soon as they had a rain day. That way they would have time to talk, quietly, in detail. He said that last friday just as the nor’easter was heading into town. It’s rained ever since. I guess he really wants those parcels.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that's the way in any quaint, romantic village. Here in this small Colorado ski town, it's snow in the winter. The very thing that makes our entire economy steam ahead - the beautiful, white, light, powdery snow that makes this place gorgeous on a sunny day, is also the thing that drives people to insanity when it comes without interludes of big, blue, sunny sky. No wonder Ra was a god.