I pulled my plaid over-shirt out of the front closet, checked to make sure it was clean, and slipped it on. It’s a size “L”, and the sleeves puff out a bit on my shorter torso. The weather app reads 52 degrees. I stepped outside into the brisk air, pulling the shirt buttons closed. The fire pit sat cold and dead on the driveway; the memories of the warmth it provided the night before a blackened and charred memory.
Start the car.
Rotate the temperature knob to warm.
Press the defrost setting.
Every morning it’s the same. My hand moves to operate the controls out of muscle memory. I plug in the iPhone as my musical companion for the commute. I kindly ask Siri to play something quiet, as my left hand repeatedly presses the volume ‘minus’ button on the steering wheel.
Soft sounds emanate from the speakers as I pull into the street. The morning routine of coffee and a pastry feels more comforting this morning, more appropriate. I order my usual decaf Americano and pumpkin cream cheese muffin, taking a seat at the end of the bar to wait for my drink. The pumpkin spices drive home the point that fall has arrived, as my nose fills with the scent of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. I sweeten my coffee, and return to the road.
There are a lot of accidents this morning. I plot and scheme about different routes and paths that might buy me precious minutes to reach my destination. I choose to park in the cheap parking lot, one that will require a longer walk to the office. My coffee in hand, I breath in the cool air as I head for Union Depot, and the warmth of the skyway. The longer walk affords me the safety of a few moments longer with my own thoughts, such as they are.
All too soon, the commute comes to an end, and life resumes.
Such is a Monday morning in fall in Minnesota.