Gray vs. Grey

19 May 2020

I’ve been watching the elementary school billboard change with the seasons. When the snow was falling, school was set to reopen April 15th. I shoveled out my car, drove to my mom’s, shoveled out hers. There was a lot of shoveling, but at least it was something to do. I felt a strange sort of satisfaction sweating during a polar vortex. The roads were covered in ice, and even when the sun shone uncontrollably bright, everything was gray. It was just so fucking gray. Or grey, because it looks sadder.

When I put away my winter jacket, school was set to reopen May 1st. It was warmer, but not warm enough to enjoy. I don’t remember how much it rained, but it felt like either too much or not enough. I drove to work and saw two geese in roughly the same spot every morning. They didn’t look like much, just geese, but their regularity both comforted and alarmed me.

We’re nearing the end of May. The geese, seemingly hundreds of them now, have settled in the field where kids used to run around during recess. There’s shit all over the sidewalks. The first babies have been running around for the past couple of weeks, their fuzzy yellow feathers going grey. They grow taller every day. The school billboard blinks in all caps:




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