In my endeavor to catch up on these Blague entries (I have another month to go before I can get to the desired one a day) it’s nice to hit the milestone of Taurus while we are actually still in the sign of Taurus.
Here today on the East Coast it is really hot hot hot outside. One of the bummers of our climate is we tend to go from Winter to Summer with very little Spring in between. Meanwhile the less extreme seasons of Spring and Autumn are my favorite, Autumn probably my absolute. I always considered my preference for Autumn to be akin to my favorite color being green, or my love of auburn hair (my own having long lost the reddish bit, leaving me with just a silver reminder of what used to be there).
As a small child in Jersey City we used to have soot showers. That’s right. There was a nearby factory or something and sometimes soot would fall from the sky like black snow flakes, wafting down. It was very odd and frankly something I hadn’t thought about probably since the last time I witnessed one—sometimes sitting down to write a Blague without any exact idea about what that Blague might be can trigger memories of this sort. These soot showers used to happen, I recall, most, in Spring, which seemed longer when I was a kid, in no small part due to the manmade changes in our weather patterns.
There was something magical that happened to kids in Spring, which I can’t quite explain. In the city, there would come that day where bubbles and water balloons and kites and kids trying to ride bikes for the first time without training wheels, bats-and-balls, those paddles with the ball attached with a rubber band, and hopscotch, water pistols, and hulahoops, and those small pink balls one used, in cities, to play handball against a brick wall, and the two dangerous early-seventies toys called Clackers—two balls on a string you would try to make hit above and below your quick-flicking grip, only to hit yourself in the head or face—and that other gadget, a loop with a string and ball attached, where you strapped the loop around one ankle and you would try to jump over the ball as you swung it in a circular motion with said ankle, only to trip yourself and fall face first onto the pavement—all would all start to surface. Girls played elaborate patty cake and jumped rope and everyone played Red Rover and May I.
Later in the more bucolic suburbs, in addition to paper airplaines, boys would fold up paper footballs and shoot the between a buddy’s goal post—index fingers connected at the tips with both thumbs up, while girls made what I was told later in life by someone were called Cooty Cathers, little magical folded and numbered creases of paper with numbers that you manipulated with your fingers and to which you posed questions about love, for the most part. I didn’t describe this at all well. Under flaps of paper were “answers” to the questions girls would ask. Suburban girls played less patty cake it seemed and gymanstical feats seemed to replace jumping rope, but that might be Nadia Comenici’s fault. And of course little league and new gloves and mitts and such played a major part in the childhood estate of Spring. And for some reason candy seemed to be more a Spring occupation than it was in other seasons. I think that had something to do with marketing and the knowledge that kids could sneak away to candy stores more readily in the clement weather.
All this innocence and youth of Spring is very much in keeping with the blissed out pre-fall Edenic experience of the fixed-earth sign of gardeny Taurus.
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