The dog has been a handful. I wander around under my own dark cloud. This morning it isn't raining, only a gentle snow. I text the boss: Coming in late. We go for a run on Rush Hour. The ground is crunchy. My joints ache from too much biking, not enough running. I think, I want to buy waterproof running shoes. The dog bounds up and down the trail. We pass T-Race riding with her dogs Rippin and Chillin. Our greetings billow like smoke from our mouths. My brain turns off. For the first time since April, the dog does not want to go in the creek afterwards.
Back home, I drink lukewarm coffee and feed the dog pieces of apple. I put on lots of layers and ride to work. I am very pleased with my appropriate clothing choices. The factory is chilly but I am wrapped in a bubble of good humor. I tell my fellow barmakers, Whenever I am grumpy, tell me to go for a run. We are chatty and cheerful. We sass the boss. He always wears a wry, bemused face around us.
They leave. I continue making Tram Bar. The new barmaker comes in at three. She is still quiet and bright-eyed, not sassy. Soon, I think. I subject her to my favorite financial podcast. She claims not to mind. I finish and pedal home in the dark cold. The road is very slightly uphill. I am sweating through my puffy and my beanie sags over my eyes. I see the stream of headlights on the highway from Jackson. I think, I would never ever ever ever choose to be in a car in that long line rather than here on my bike.
I look at pictures on Facebook of friends skiing. I download a surprise collaboration album from Big Boi and Phantogram. I let the dog out. She goes to the neighbor's yard where the viscera of an antelope freeze in the grass. I stand under the street lamp, watching the snow's silent barrage. The first fall is the most beautiful. I think, This particulate from the sky dictates my happiness for five months.