It’s a pleasantly less-than-freezing day as my feet continue to try and outdo eachother, one after the other, forward marching. The churches are dripping melting snow and most of this Pittsburgh city’s residents are at work or school or perhaps sleeping off their humpday hangovers. I’ve taken the day off and am grocery bound to pick up some treats for tonight’s celebration of Candlemas.

A car alarm is wailing into the alleys and sidewalked streets around the local Borders. I think to tell someone inside that perhaps they could put an announcement over the loudspeaker that a blue Forester’s alarm is sounding, but then I realize it’s actually an aqua Forester and the girl behind the main desk is wearing headphones stuffed into her intimidatingly bitchy-attractive head and so I keep going, assuming that the car will work itself out. A coffee order and my usual overtipping later I’m headed back outside. The alarm is still sounding. I think about how I really should tell someone to avoid the owner coming to a drained battery later that night but then I light a cigarette and notice various aspects of the world that take precedence.

A bike store is going in on the third floor of the building in front of me and I wonder what antics will be gotten up to while bikers share the elevator with granola moms coming out of the organic children’s clothing store. A pair of gloves are laying next to a car, nice gloves, leather, but covered in salt and snowy grime. I think about picking them up but what would I do with them? Lay them ontop of the car they’re next to, I guess, but what if they’re not that car’s owner’s winter wear? Then they’d be left with salt stains and the annoyance of touching someone else’s dirty gloves.

Sitting down for a cigarette and finishing my coffee, the warmth of a lucky middleWinter day reminds me to smile, and so I do, and people see me smiling. They either wonder why I’m smiling or just smile themselves, back at me or just to themselves, it doesn’t matter. The contagion spreads, or so I hope.

13 tangelos, 3 pounds of bananas, a bag of apples, a red pepper, some thick bread and a jar of “Old World Drinking Chocolate” later I’m on my way home. I stop to pick up some liquor. I buy another coffee, this time from Starbucks. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Starbucks. I drink it and smoke another cigarette.

As I pass the Borders, the car alarm is still going off. I give another half-thought to telling someone, but no one’s around except for two construction workers. Then I hear them talking about the alarm and they start walking towards the car as though there’s something that can be done. I don’t stick around for the results.

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