The exterior of a large suburban subway station seen through a rain soaked auto windshield shortly before nightfall

The roadway was lost against a field of late afternoon gray, bathed in waves of rain and chopped up spray from windblown vapor. If the car was going to veer out of its lane and into trouble, it should’ve gone and done it. But I got out and off the interstate and then home, and tomorrow I’m back at it.

The exterior of a suburban library with a handicapped parking space near its front entrance

After dropping off and returning a couple of books, I managed to pick up pictures from a drugstore after printing a particular form. Then came an inadvertent tour of a few post office facilities before I found one that would let me handle my business. Now, I wait for several weeks and see if everything falls just right.

A historical society plaque for a city that commemorates the former presence of a blacksmith shop on the exterior wall of a current day hardware store.

Today was about blades and decisions, starting with the fill up of the gas tank and the trip over to the local hardware store and the decision against the multi-tool and the plan to visit the hardware store that led to a replacement of a knife I’ve missed for several months and the purchase of a screwdriver to install kitchen shelves.

A dark colored metal sculpture of a male human figure stands outside a brick building’s white labeled doors.

It’s been one of those stretches where ten days feels like a few months, in part because of things feeding back on themselves, like how I’ve been spending those last few months, and in part from things exploding and imploding. Let’s see if a day or two, or some sleep, changes things, or feels like a half week’s rest or not.

A long view of a city street with a bridge in the background

Bad weather to go tooling around after people, but good weather to see the city anew from its watery edges. It was the third Wednesday in a row that I’d gone to a certain shop before my shift started.

Apartment buildings with small exterior lights under mostly blue post-sunset skies by

It’s not that I haven’t been looking out the window recently. It’s just that I’ve been spending time looking out other windows at the place, or between other places in a vehicle or other vehicles? All of that too when I haven’t been looking at a screen, and all of that in addition to seeing.

An exterior view of a large federal government building along a city block with trees and a small sloping concrete plaza in front of it

Eventually I got to talk to the person I was supposed to see but it took several minutes to be scanned and searched, let alone to convince the folks at the door to let me in. For a minute I was torn between the terror of being taken seriously and the tedium of trying not to be a threat, which made the reason I was there all the funnier to me.

A mirrorball casts sparkles of light across the wooden rafters of a large building roof and against a hanging stop sign

My superstition about a thing today was mostly about not watching, which made going over to a big box store to see if anyone else was all the more delightful when I found nothing but nature footage and commercials for streaming television services and many ads for TV screen features. The only better thing was the joyful comfort of seeing familiar faces and hearing them sing karaoke at a historic music venue I’d never visited before.

A small black cat stands and sniffs at a metal rack that holds several pairs of shoes and boots

This was a weird weekend where work just sort of bled over into days I wasn’t officially on the clock, first with the high-end haircut yesterday and then with the late breaking word out of Chinatown. But you lace up your shoes or you slip on your boots and go out to the story so you can tell it. If you’re out there long enough, the cat sniffs at you when you come home.

A city intersection with empty cable car tracks under partly sunny afternoon skies

I’d timed my trip down to the station and my entry into public transit just right, and strolled up to the building to stop outside and take in a surprisingly quiet and peaceful stretch for a chilly midwinter end-of-workweek. It wasn’t work, but it was obligation, the good kind.