Winter Coat

Little yappy dogs in pastel knitted sweaters; whip-thin trembling galgos wearing the dog-equivalent of down vests; stocky pugs in hoodies, like tiny belligerent rappers.

Haughty women swathed in fur, striding imperiously up the street, devil-may-care about fur’s lack of political correctness. Flocks of long-haired young women enveloped in puffy coats, intent on their cell phones.

Old men wearing berets; old men wearing fedoras. Young men in leather jackets, dressed for fashion not warmth, racewalking to their destinations. Businessmen in suits, on mopeds, snap-on blankets arranged over their knees, like invalids in wheelchairs.

There are a thousand ways to wear a scarf in the city. Especially here in the Old World, where it’s well-known an exposed neck gives you pneumonia.

Our building’s heat has been turned down since October by Community decree. There’s no heat at all in the tiled bathroom.  Shivering after my shower, I think of my former self, life cushioned by central HVAC, and sneer: soft.

It snowed in Barcelona Monday. 1 March is the first day of climatological spring. Summer will come soon enough, they say, but all the same, I wish as much for warmer weather as the buds on the trees do.