Snow Days

Hop on.  Hold on.  Lean into me.  Your cheek against my back.  The wind.  And the bump.  And we're turned over, snow going down our shirts and pants and ooh, isn't that cold?  Your fingertips turn pinker.  Blow into your hands to keep them warm, then put your gloves on quick.  The long trudge up the hill, barely making it, like you won't go down again because all this climbing is too much, but, you get to the top, breath in front of you, look down the hill, remember, and go again.

Or if the wind chill was too cold, we'd read.  Or color.  Or play Memory.  We got older.  Time became compressed like spritz cookies.  Before you know it I was living in Athens, driving home slowly from work, scared to careen off the road into a ditch or a tree or some kid on a bike.  I still watched the snow come down, but I'd fallen in love, asked God too many questions about myself, watched horror movies and war movies I couldn't see when I was six, or ten.  I think by then I'd fallen in love again, and I watched as the snow covered everything, not in a metaphor, but in cold, something to feel and see and smell, yes, to smell and taste, if you're lucky.

We spelled on our windshields, my coworkers and I, friends from church, things like "I wuz here," "Kiss me," "I can't see."  Stupid things almost-adults find funny.  But it was fun, and our fingers half froze in the writing.  Maybe the idea's in the process, of snowing, of doing something with all that emptiness, of streaking a line in the chill.  
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