Everything falls apart. It gets old, its joints loosen, and in the end it returns to dust or to rust, or to whatever is appropriate.

Consider the streets of Rockland, and see how they dissolve. Consider my friend Dreadful O’Meara, who is so old he visits Florida every winter to plague and pester the people he knew here who moved to Florida year-round to avoid him. All is dissolution, deterioration, decay.

If you own an old car, you will live with this effect day to day. This week the device that retracts my car’s radio antenna gave up the ghost, for example.

The front steps on my old house have lately given way too, and my house itself (which as you know frequently sinks into the mud on Linden Street) has little bits that keep falling away. Each time it emerges from the mud, it leaves another piece behind. This time it came up without steps. What next?

This is the triumph of entropy, which has been described a lot more poetically than this by others. But however we describe it, it is inevitable, and not just as a commentary on the nature of mere things, for it strips away human pretensions and so reveals the true nature of us as well.

Many of us are judged in this life by our ability to struggle against this decay, judged either by others or (worse still) by ourselves. Our worth as human beings is measured by our ability to replace and renew what has grown old and fallen apart.

Alas, etc.

* * * * *

I say the time has come to fight back against the weather. If it snows once more, I say we aim giant flamethrowers up at the clouds and pour forth clouds of flame against the descending snow. Don’t give it a chance to land.

In June 1854 the citizens if the newly incorporated City of Rockland built a bonfire of tar barrels to celebrate. We should emulate them, not in joy but in defense.

Let us place barrels on every street corner, and fill them with scraps of wood, combustible bits of old cars, our extortionate property tax bills, lumps from our broken roads, inedible crusts of bread, etc. When it snows again, let us light these beacons and so fight back against the stuff with every last scrap of energy and fuel we can muster.

We will fight it on the beaches and from the grain towers. We will fight it in the streets and the fields of the South End, in the parking lots and on the sidewalks. We will burn it from the sky itself. We will never surrender.

Well, at least we can try.

* * * * *

Farewell to Steve Donoso after 11 years at Rockland Public Library, and now gone to live near a volcano.

* * * * *

The children remain optimistic. Lately we have seen them all over the place, (even beyond the South End!) wearing only T-shirts and short pants, flying past on skateboards, hurling fistfuls of snowballs at each other in fun, their hands and faces red with cold and happiness.

There must be something they don’t know…

* * * * *

People have begun to stop me in public places and ask about the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse, those wretched feathery animals that haunt my solitude up here on the concrete battlements. All I can do is repeat that lately only Matthew, Mark and Arthur Gull have been seen atop the east grain tower, although to be absolutely honest I admit it is often hard to tell them apart.

Possibly it is Arthur Gull who is missing, and Luke has been here all the time. It doesn’t matter, they are each as annoying as the others.

We are still awaiting the results of the forensic autopsy on the gull carcass found in O’Meara’s chimney the other week. (Entropy affects gulls, too.) If it is one of ours, we who are left will try to think of something decent and inexpensive to do to mark its passing, even though it was never a very friendly creature.

If we don’t look after our own, who will look after us? That’s pretty much the thinking up here.

I have heard reports of robins being heard, if not seen. Surely that is some sort of good sign?

* * * * *

B has been without running hot water for weeks, now. I once went likewise without hot water from February until June, and not as a matter of choice, either. More entropy, more decay.

* * * * *

I hear they are opening up that restaurant down on the harbor. New management, I am told. The Millers.

* * * * *

March has been a month of Sundays, as my old dad used to say. (He probably still does.)

Sunday, March 3 was of no particular account, but March 10 was the start of Daylight Saving. (The last time I checked, the clock on Water Street was still completely out of synch with the new times.) March 17 was some trumped-up pseudo Irish event, and March 24 was Palm Sunday. March 31 will be Easter.

But despite these dubious calendar blessings, it has been a hard and difficult month.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com, but no longer at his front doorstep.