Stomp, stomp, stomp. Out in my boots for the first time this winter. I’m bundled up. I climb over a snowbank and into the street. I have five seconds to cross.
Some of the sidewalks are shoveled, some are not. There are slippery patches.
A young man with a snow blower says something. Probably “Good morning.”
I suppose I’m smiling. Am I smiling? I’m cold.
I can’t really hear him because I’m listening to Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. One of my earbuds keeps falling out. As I listen to the beautiful insecure lyrics of “Same Situation,” I wonder if I was ever that soft. “Tethered to a ringing telephone/in a room full of mirrors.”
Oh, Joni. How I loved this song! But it’s been the same damned thing since Dorothy Parker’s 1930 story, “A Telephone Call.”
“Why can’t the telephone ring? Why can’t it, why can’t it? … You damned ugly, shiny thing. It wouldn’t hurt you to ring, would it?”
I’m not tethered to a damned phone anymore! (Many are.) There was joy in young romance, but much unhappiness, so many tears.
I wonder if we are still women after menopause. Do we become a third sex? When we were young, we were defined by estrogen. We were defined by our reproductive systems. We worked, but were so often at a disadvantage: we preferred the liberal arts to business and thus were paid less. Why were we paid less? And when our husbands left us for younger women, we lost status and insurance. If we got through it, we were no longer objects. We became the subjects of our lives.
Subject, object, who the hell knows?
Here’s the Latin.
femina = subject (nominative case)
feminam = direct object (accusative case)
So here I am, a femina, walking on a day in the middle of climate change, appreciating the snow. It is flooding in Missouri. It is flooding in the UK.
Is climate change reversible? asks the post-menopausal woman, wondering, Why pretend? Enjoy the snow while we have it.