It has been unexpectedly cold, and on that particularly evening we were preparing for a very cold weekend, with frost and potentially snow. The puddles from recent rains had frozen, which is a rare thing – if I had a better memory, I could probably count on one hand the number of times this has happened while I lived here. The weekend promised to be a sort of punctuation mark in the long, tortuous syntax of winter.
Something about the evening put a period to a sense of expectation. The past few months have been spent waiting for a book to come in the post. Many the afternoon was spent sighing – ‘my life is dreary, / it cometh not’ – and hoping that a small, readable copy of The Wealth of Nations would soon be near at hand. That evening, though – observing the slow ticking of the clock and the day sloping toward his western bower – I finally accepted that the book would not, will not come. The night promised to be dreary, and I would have to find something else to read.