It's one of those diamond-bright days of early winter, with the ground ringing like iron when you walk on it. The horizon has congealed into a slagheap. I don't see many birds, though a few scruffy sparrows come down to nibble out of the bird feeder on the bay window. That little consolation goes a long way when you sit there with a cup of coffee, staring out at the rolls of steel hanging above the house. I long for a patch of blue sky, but it's rare. And when it happens, it'
I went to bed early last night, on New Year's Eve. I don't believe in celebrating a number on a calendar. I gave that up when I was still a teenager. Getting drunk was okay, but standing around with a glass of weak bourbon listening to small talk and forced laughter made any emotion I might have wanted to feel curdle in my gut. So I smiled until my cheeks hurt, and I flirted a little, pretended to be having a wonderful time while the universe stood still over us. Time was jus