WEEKENDS: Springtime Saturday

Two weeks ago my neighborhood was a chilly hinterland of rusty trucks, piled-up snow, and ice-slicked roads. This weekend, however, it was beautiful --sixty-two and sunny with a slight breeze and patchy fog. I slept with the windows open, and in the afternoon padded around the creaky floorboards of my top-floor apartment in bare feet and a t-shirt, a summertime Shiner in hand. Saturdays -- the one day of the week that is unquestionably YOURS, unencumbered by the schedules and demands of others. Windows open, there is the smell of earth that permeates the air; nighttime is marked by the sooty-quality of late afternoon inner-city sunsets and late-night beers on chilly patios.  On springtime Saturday afternoons, I'll put my James Carr records on -- loud.  I'll look out the window to see new buds on the trees -- a promise of life, a reminder of death and proof of the unavoidable cycles -- winter and spring, joy and loss --  we've all been born into.