March 8th, 2016

hasui hirakawa morning

Ghost Tide

March in an ordinary year is not much fun. The bright blue sky, the warming sun, yes yes, but also the snow melt pooling on the sidewalk by day and becoming a skating rink by night. The near freezing temps that turn rain into freezing rain. Only sometimes, dry grey skies that look like the Platonic Form of a November sky. That sort of thing.

But in this pogo year, March isn't March at all. It's some liminal other place, wet and brown or with a vague sun, that doesn't even attach to any particular time of year or time of my life. The wet grass, the brown twiggy trees- here? London? Tokyo? Stratford? the 60s? the 70s? the 90s? As in:

Stopped by a bar for a rare G&T (actually a Singapore Sling, but no one makes them anymore.) Came out and started home, and the air smelled like Lapsang Soochong tea, just as, earlier today, it smelled like burnt coffee. And suddenly I remembered the fall of 1974, when my job gave us 'dinner money' if we worked overtime (which we always did at registration) and I'd take a friend to dinner with it, to a Russian restaurant whose name and location are alike gone; and in those days I smoked Balkan Sobranies and Sobranie Black Russians. I'd forgotten that bit of my past completely until an unrelated smell brought it back.