(I originally wrote these over a couple of days “trapped” in the house during a snowstorm in Massachusetts last winter [January, 2015] I’ve gathered them into one thing which is a bit long. Anyway.)
Blizzard 2015 Pt. 1 (Might As Well Be Spring)
January 26th, 2015 9:00 PM – Marblehead, MA
Since I haven’t been writing at all much lately I figured I’d document this time stuck at home since it’s currently illegal to go outside for the most part. I suppose I could take a walk and not get arrested or pulled over but why would I do that when I have a warm house, a dog, a cat and Ray Romano to keep me company?
Went to the supermarket straight from work and it wasn’t as hectic as I thought it would be. I needed some essentials: mushrooms, a yellow highlighter, some rice cakes, one yellow onion, corn, eggs and a loaf of bread. I imagine the girl that rang me up didn’t notice everything I bought was either yellow or a light tan color as I did. My debit card went through but then she informed me I still owed $3.48 somehow. After a brief panicked “which one of those things will I end up putting back, and fuck that woman behind me put the stuff on the belt in quite an aggressive manner I bet she’s going to be pretty angry if we start canceling items and calling managers over” incident inside my head and two other debit cards later I was free to go with my yellow and tan groceries.
I stopped at the empty coffee shop around the corner and the nice young man who yesterday boasted like the US Postal Service that they would be open regardless of the weather informed me they would definitely be closed tomorrow. I didn’t really plan on leaving the house tomorrow, and that sealed that for me.
I pull into driveway and the crazy neighbors who live above garage at the end of the driveway have parked their gigantic white Cadillac in a place it’s never been before, in a position where if I park where I normally park it will be blocking them. I decide to just block them in and shrug it off. There is a note on the door
They say in times of stress you should bake. I think they say that. Someone does. Women? Grandmothers? Do grandmothers get stressed? They seem like they’re always pretty happy about stuff, I mean unless their husband of sixty-two years dies and they are destined for a lifetime of imminent lonely fish dinners. Well I’m not stressed. I don’t really mind snowstorms, unless of course the power goes out and I am stuck eating yellow onion sandwiches and rice cakes for three days. I’m excited at the thought of not going to work tomorrow. I have this book I’ve been reading and a yellow highlighter to highlight the important stuff to deal with tomorrow and did I say I don’t have to go in to work? So yeah, not stressed. I decided to bake when I got in, something easy: mushrooms stuffed with breadcrumbs and egg and shredded cheese and cayenne pepper and mushroom stems. I put them in the oven around 5:30 and they were done before 6:00. I ate the meal and watched what seemed like about six hours of news about the storm. I have this thing when I watch weather on news where I just kind of zone out and not hear anything they are saying, sort of like when I meet a new person and they tell me their name and I immediately forget it, or if someone gives me directions and inside I’m saying “okay I’ll probably just look this up on my phone as this guy is really confusing me but I’ll keep nodding and make pretend I get it” Three or so hours after I cooked the mushrooms I went into the kitchen to grab get a drink and notice a red light on the (thankfully electric) stove. “Oh, left the oven on ”Opened the oven and this wave of heat came out burning the tips of my green dreadlocks just a tiny bit. I mean heating up my face like when you step out into the sun in the August after being inside too long, not burning my green dreadlocks. I turn the oven off and remember this is now the third time I’ve done this. The first two times I did this I was high as a kite on marijuana; tonight I was completely sober. Still alive and well over here.
Maybe it will actually start snowing soon. I hear plows but outside looks the same as it did four hours ago. I’ll be back.
“I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm,
I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string,
I’d say that I had spring fever,
But I know it isn’t spring”
Blizzard 2015 Pt. 2 (Everything Happens to Me)
January 27, 2015 8:51 AM – Marblehead, MA
So it’s 7:30 AM and I am looking out the window and all I see is white, which is pretty much what it’s like when you look out the window here any time of the year. Whenever I have one of these types of days off I have all of the grand ideas to clean, organize, read, write, play music, cook or do something productive. Let’s see how that pans out.
An hour later our new governor is on TV telling us things we already know like how it’s going to snow quite a bit today and to stay off the roads so the plows can do their jobs. This new governor, Charlie Baker, a Republican; I don’t know if it’s what he looks like or how he carries himself but he looks like your girlfriend’s dad from when you were 15.
“Hi Chris, what do you do?”
“Well sir I’m 15 so I go to school, listen to Iron Maiden and have acne”
“Very nice, make sure she’s home by 10:30”
“Yeah, keep calling me Chris dude”
I don’t think I’ve ever called anyone sir in my life now that I think of it.
The cars in driveway as a result of how they are tucked away between a wall, the house and a garage are pretty much completely visible thanks to the high winds and fluffy nature of the snow.
Three hours later and am I really watching the Maury show? I am resigned to TV the remainder of this stay in the house as I discovered a few minutes ago that I have LEFT MY GLASSES I USE TO READ AT WORK. Did I seriously do that knowing full well I would be here for at least a day and a half and have this book and the yellow highlighter? My work is currently moving, yesterday we spent the whole day moving things out of there and cleaning, and I cleaned my whole desk off and collected some personal things that I took home but left the glasses. I generally never forget things (which is why I’m a perfect target for the whole September 11/Never Forget marketing thing) and kind of look down on absent-minded people who always forget things or misplace things. So what a piece of shit I am for forgetting those. They are cheaters soI think I can handle reading without them, but Jesus.
Have not opened the milk I bought three days ago yet. Feeling like I will be stir crazy by 1:30 PM.
“I make a date for golf, you can bet you life it rains
I try to give a party and the guy upstairs complains
I guess, I’ll go through life just catchin’ colds and missin’ trains
Everything happens to me”
Blizzard 2015 Pt 2 a (Karma)
January 27, 2015 12:54 PM – Marblehead, MA
Saying how I look down upon people who forget things in Part 2 has paid off well today. I was watching an hour-long program on the thing when the cat entered the room and proceeded to vomit on the floor and then go eat. Something I wish was socially acceptable for people. I decided to deal with it “whenever I get up” Fast forward to an hour later and I walk into other room and step directly in the cat vomit.
I guess I am taking a shower.
I’ve decided to do some shoveling, especially the stairs and around my car. I’m not sure I’ll be able to open the door to get outside and shovel, I did bring the shovel inside with me last night.
Oh yeah, I lost my gloves.
Blizzard 2015 Pt 3 (One Room Country Shack)
January 27, 2015 7:30 PM Marblehead, MA
I’m convinced the neighbors downstairs have never seen daylight. You rarely see them but good lord do you hear them. The main guy has a thick Massachusetts accent and just sounds like an asshole. I can’t make out exactly what he’s saying; he sounds like if some guy named Frank from Everett, Massachusetts did all the adult voices on Charlie Brown. I believe he is probably around 35. There is his girlfriend who is friendly enough when you see her even if I do a double take every time I see her because for a second I think it’s Ultimate Sin era Ozzy Osbourne in my driveway with jet-black hair. In sweatpants. Her son who I imagine is about 20 years old and wears baseball hats with the labels still on them also lives here. On occasion you’ll hear someone freestyle rapping downstairs. I have not determined if the freestyle rapper is the Frank from Everett, Massachusetts guy or the kid. I wonder if they know it snowed out today? Every once in awhile I smell marijuana coming up from downstairs in certain parts of the apartment and briefly get paranoid that I will fail an upcoming drug screening at work as a result of the smell, and then I wonder if I’m just being paranoid. Or am I being paranoid because I am getting high from the marijuana I’m smelling? Reminds me of the time I was driving on Lynn Beach near Red Rock one summer. The Massachusetts State Police would sometimes have the horses out there for kids to pet. Me and my buddy were sitting in the long traffic line smoking grass and listening to Rush or whatever and I told him to roll up his window as I was so high I thought that police horses were trained like police dogs and they might catch a whiff of the marijuana smoke.
I’ve just been informed there will not be work tomorrow. I am a little surprised and a little relieved. I did a little bit of shoveling today. Well, about fifteen minutes of shoveling my stairs before having to jump down on to the ground to start where I was waist deep in snow. Fifteen minutes was about as long as I could take shoveling without gloves on before I decided to walk down to the 7-11 and just buy gloves. I’m pretty sure I bought women’s gloves, at least there was a woman on the tag. Ask me if I give a shit that I bought gloves for women at 7-11 for $4.99. They did the job for the remaining fifteen minutes of shoveling I did. I looked at my car and there is a drift in front of it that looks like it will be a pain in the ass to deal with. Where the snow is light and fluffy I had planned to either just drive right through it tomorrow morning, hope someone else miraculously deals with it for me, or I don’t have to do to work tomorrow and the wind will blow it around and it will be easier to deal with Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
I told a few jokes and did some impressions and songs for the dog, he seemed unimpressed. I generally talk to myself quite a bit if I am in a situation where I haven’t spoken to a human being in quite some time. Sometimes I like to imagine I’ll get myself into some sort of situation where the FBI bugs my house or car and gets a kick out of my conversations with myself.
I’ve begun a game of “Alcohol Bingo” with my Facebook friends list that started yesterday. Every time someone mentions they are drinking a new type of alcohol I haven’t seen yet I mark it down on this sheet I have. I have yet to hear of anyone drinking white wine or tequila yet, but we’re still only a day into this storm thing. I also have a “Which one of my friends will die of alcohol poisoning first?” thing running for the last few years, but I kind of keep that on the down low inside my head.
Pretty sure there is some sort of creature or person running up and down the streets screaming so I fried up some chicken cutlets to take my mind off the terror that placed in my imagination.
“Sittin’ here, thousand miles from nowhere
People, I’m in my one room country little shack
I’m sittin’ here, thousand miles from nowhere
People, I’m in my own, own one room country little shack”
Blizzard 2015 Pt 4 (Un Poco Loco)
January 28, 2015 6:08 PM – Marblehead, MA
What a sad, sad day in New England. The storm has left us with no goodbye or anything. Left in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping. Speaking of sleeping, the neighbors downstairs, I think they slept all day. At one point I ventured outside to do some shoveling. I noticed the creepy guy that lives above the garage was out there and thought I’d give him a hand. My car is blocking his, and the mini van (exactly) that the shit bags downstairs drive is next to my car. I shoveled a path out of my stairway, around their car but leaving a few feet of snow in front of theirs, and then around mine. The creepy neighbor that lives above the garage shoveled a good chunk of the driveway it was only about eight inches deep. Where I was shoveling it was a little deeper. About forty minutes into this, the woman who looks like Ultimate Sin era Ozzy Osbourne poked her greasy haired head out and said she messaged the landlord and the plow guy was on the way. Meanwhile the garage neighbor guy had shoveled their stairs for them. Both of us kind of shrugged, put down our shovels and went back inside. This was my second shoveling session. A plow showed up an hour or so later and pretty much just removed some of the snow. The way the cars are positioned it’s hard to really plow us out. A few minutes later I hear some commotion outside and see the son with the flat brimmed baseball hat with the labels still on it rushing outside with a shovel. From what I could gather his friends came to pick him up in some sort of Lincoln and got stuck at the end of the driveway, blocking traffic coming up our hill. I sat in the window and watched the ordeal as cars started lining up behind them, three vaped out 20somethings trying to figure out how to get a car with rear wheel drive out of the snow was amusing. I even snapped a few pics of it. I took a shower and they were still out there when I came back. I probably could have helped them as I probably weigh about as much as all three of the crackhead looking kids combined, but also THE FUCKING BOYFRIEND OF GORILLA COOKIE FACE ULTIMATE SIN ERA OZZY OSBOURNE LADY COULD HAVE WENT OUT AND HELPED OR HEY MAYBE CAME OUT AND HELPED SHOVEL.
I had a great shower and fried up some cheese sandwiches on wheat bread and fell asleep watching a James Bond movie. Tough living, these blizzards.
At some point I hear some more commotion outside and realize the loud boyfriend is outside talking to the girlfriend of the man who lives above the garage. Her father is our landlord. She is kind of a character and kind of looks like a cross between Randy Rhoads and Dave Murray from Iron Maiden, but like 80 pounds. She’s got a raspy voice and is one of about four people in the world who I give a pass to calling me “Chris” I never look out the window to see what’s going on. The boyfriend then comes back in house and I hear him yelling about something regarding the driveway. He’s going on and on like he usually does. One of these guys that just yells and yells constantly. I mean I imagine if I was living with that woman I would probably yell quite a bit, for instance if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw her sleeping in the bed next to me, that would be cause for alarm and I would probably cry out something. I hate people who yell, people with short fuses. I have a short fuse from time to time and I hate when it comes out. I usually recognize it and try to think at how absurd the thing is I am getting upset about. “THIS FUCKING THING WON’T DO THE THING IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO” Sort of like that bit Louis CK does pointing out the absurdity of people getting mad at their smartphones. This guy downstairs though, I can just imagine him constantly getting heated about ridiculous things and then not doing anything about it. I don’t know what this guy does for a living, I have no idea what his sleep schedule is. My basic idea of what happens in that apartment under me is: they smoke weed, yell, watch loud TV, freestyle rap, yell, yell, make gorilla cookies with that woman’s face, smoke weed and eat all the gorilla cookies. This guy had all fucking day to come out and just grab a shovel. I even positioned the third shovel in view of their window in a snow bank. You can either be a guy that sits inside and yells at a woman all day or be a man and do some work outside. I’m not the person to confront someone or tell them what to do especially in this situation. I’ve literally never even looked this guy in the eye. I think I’ve seen him once. I’d rather just be the guy that sees something that needs to be done and just do it, especially when you really have no choice. I went out a few minutes after his yelling fit and did some more shoveling, careful to still leave that little patch of snow still in front of their horrible mini van thing. It felt good getting out there a third time with the headphones listening to Black Flag and Cro-Mags and other old hardcore music and making progress on something.
Anyway, tonight I’ve decided to introduce them to Slayer –Reign in Blood at a good volume. I’ll let some shithead be a shithead and be the type of person that constantly needs to yell and be abrasive while I do my thing up here.
Before this blizzard started I dreaded it. Probably like the neighbor downstairs did. I realized today it’s not really a big deal, snow. You go out, shovel it and that’s the worst thing about it. I mean, unless of course you lose your power or something horrible happens to your home. For the majority of us though it’s nothing. It’s tiring, but I know anytime I shovel snow I always feel better at the end, like I accomplished something. You can go stir crazy sitting in the house for multiple days as I have a little. I don’t go out as much anymore so being at home isn’t that big of a deal but when you feel trapped in like this it does something to your head which is why I needed to fix it. The guy downstairs, I imagine he just lets things heat up inside his head until they blow for no good reason. I never want to be one of those guys. I never will be. Here’s hoping their car doesn’t start tomorrow morning.