Warmth in the Whiteness

 

The snow is slowly looking for a place to land. The flakes find my thighs. And the lonely crow cawing in the distance sounds like a dog offering its barks into the air. The stillness of the snow engulfs this Colorado section of the world. My shoulders shiver.

More heat to be found downstairs. My white-turning-blue toes and frozen fingers yearn for the heat of the bed, the soon-to-be sizzling solace found under two thick blankets.

I have seen water instantly freeze on windows. A man commissioned to clean away the restaurant’s dirt-smudged panes suddenly finding his soapy water frozen before he could wash it away. My friends and I sat inside, watching this scene as we slurped at our Bloody Mary’s.

This is winter in the Northern states.

I move my body to the couch where a white blanket awaits me. Unable to put my pen down, I write out the moments when I have felt the cold freeze my veins.

Chicago. Winter. 4am. Outside of my apartment standing in snow boots I took drags off of a cigarette. The city was so still at that hour that I could not resist but to stand in it. And I was freezing, the snow piling up to there. And the cigarette did not warm me up, though I tried to convince myself it would. A train broke the silence as it whooshed by on the elevated tracks across the street from me. I looked up to its windows as it passed by and saw a few lonely homeless people finding warmth in the only place they could. To ride around the sleeping city, trying to grab some rest in a warm, moving car.

The winter wind blew out my cigarette and I returned upstairs to write more. Snow stuck to my boots, taking its time to melt on my white carpeted floor. Winter in the city. A blizzard would arrive later on that the day.

Years later, and I lie on my couch in Colorado, warming my toes underneath the white blanket. I am thankful to have this place I call home, though the house is not mine. It belongs to my grandparents, and I now live inside it with nowhere else I can afford to go.

The temperature will drop down to six degrees today, and I wonder if the ice will keep me from going to the restaurant where I work. Though I imagine that even in this weather, the townsfolk will want to get out of their houses in order to slurp at a Bloody Mary.

And so I lie on the couch in the early morning thinking about the cold, listening to the cawing crow as it slowly recedes, finding a warmer place to call home.

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