November 29th, 2006

Me 2012


Yesterday, the temperature when I walked to and home from work was in the sixties. This morning, I stepped outside to walk to work wearing a sweater, and promptly stepped back inside to get a jacket and scarf. It was 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lut had an interview this morning, and stopped by the bank afterwards but missed me. He left a message telling me the weather forecast was bad for the rest of day -- "if you want a ride home, just give me a call." As the day wore on, it began to rain heavily. Then the temperature dropped a couple of degrees, and the rain turned to tiny beads of ice. One of the bank's executive vice presidents sent out a memo advising management to send everyone who could be spared home early, especially people with long commutes. I replied jokingly to my manager, "I doubt my walk will be any more difficult in another two hours." She responded by offering me a ride home.

In the end, I left half an hour early with a different co-worker. She tells me "it's not out of my way"; I never know quite what this means. A number of people from my job do go within a few blocks of my house when driving to or from work, as I live near a major interstate, but I'm never quite sure which ones do and which ones don't. I live less than a mile from the bank; by car it's not far out of anyone's way, really. But when the roads are bad I don't like people to have to drive more than necessary.

At the time that I asked her about a ride, I didn't think the roads near the bank were that bad. It looked like the freezing rain had almost stopped and the ground looked clear. When I stepped outside, I immediately realized my error. Ice was still pelting down, tiny and near-invisible but very palpable. The pavement was covered in a mixture of ice and slush. I set foot on it and thought, "I don't even want to cross the parking lot much less walk home." I shuffled across it to my friend's car, where she was chiseling ice off the windows. She only had one ice scraper, and my gloved hand was little help. We hopped in to give the rear windshield defroster time to work, and watched the windshield wipers swipe away gobs more ice as the sky dumped on us.

Finally she got out to clear her windshield again, and I brushed the heat-loosened ice from the rear and she took me home.

Once inside, I went to the den to say hello to Lut. "Look how early I'm home! Since it's still light out, I think I'll go for a jog."

Lut looked at me. "Sure. You can jog up the stairs. And then down the stairs. And then up the stairs again. You can jog around the basement, too, but I think you'll freak the cat if you jog around up here." As I opened my mouth to speak again, he raised his voice to continue, "You can jog anywhere you like, as long as it's inside."

"But it's still light out!" I protested, gesturing to the window.

He peered through the blinds. "It's going to be dark out as soon as you get outside, because you're going to slip on the steps and knock yourself out."

I went to the basement to exercise.