March 07, 2005

Snow Blown

The sun began to set and an orange glow reflected from everything covered by the shell of last night's snowfall.

I stood at the lip of the subway exit and cringed. Delicate and fluffy, miniscule snowflakes gently floated to a perfect landing among the trampled, turbulent drift stretched out before me. The beauty was deceptive. I took one step into the powdery mass and fell. Within three seconds half of my body was soaking wet and freezing cold. I can't walk straight on a sunny day, let alone one where every perilous, frictionless step results in sloshed boots and unattractive dripping pants cuffs. These are the prices we pay to live in the greatest city on the Earth; well New York is great nine months of the year.

I used to love the snow; fake snow that is.

Shaking one of many of my auntie Mary's collectible snow globes, I'd delight in the white flaked, frenzied blizzard across a tiny, encapsulated, underwater city. I was a six year old God, and the teensy, plastic mailman or the merry Santa's sleigh had no choice but to feel my wicked, wintry wrath. The comfort of these benign figures was my whim.

However, as their only true savior, I also played the gentle deity. Following each turbulent maelstrom there always came a casual, happy lull as those glittery flakes dusted the German village or southern plantation depicted beneath the shiny, curved glass. I'd stare as the flakes fell onto the rooftops, stuffing my face with holiday cookies and virgin eggnog.

The only time we ever visited my auntie Mary's was for her annual Christmas party. She had way too many cats to justify any form of casual visit otherwise.

Recovering from my fall in the snow, I didn't believe any such benevolent God existed in control of our weather. His whims are capricious ones, and He seems to challenge my daily life with unsympathetic weather, ice and cold.

But a new snugglepuss has emboldened me to brave the harsh realities of this wintery mix in anticipation of the soft fantasies of a cotton- downed tangle. And so, last night, I cautiously stepped from the bowels of that train, and took a tentative step into the snow and quickly, awkwardly, to my knees.

It's amazing how the promise of a simple kiss can entice someone to step outside of their usual comfort zone; to tread down what may become a slippery slope. I stood myself back up. As if defiant, the wind took a frenzied gale and the snow violently blasted behind me.

And so I trekked with my hat held against my head and my spend-the-night bag clutched at my side. The wind hissed as freezing kisses dissed my cheeks. And still I trudged, knowing that across those few city blocks awaited a young man in a warm bedroom, contently staring out his window into the suddenly howling snow.

I furiously shook the glass dome and sat it down. One of my auntie's pesky cats mewed and begged for a bite of cookie. I shooed it off the bureau top and noticed the tiny figure of a young man poised walking into the falling snow of the amber cityscape, now a bluster of swirling snowflakes. He marched towards the direction of a miniscule brownstone in which sat a solitary man; this man was smiling and looking out his window towards the powdery street below. I too smiled. Strangely entranced, I quietly watched the snow fall while the bundled figure made his statuary pace from winter’s embrace and towards his friend’s arms.

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