Yet, once the technological basics are covered, I can make a concerted attempt to try out all things good, even during the hibernal season. And I am not talking here now of winter sports, even though I recently wrote a wretched little article on a so-called “trend-sport” called, ridiculously enough, snow-walking, performed in, hold your breath, snow shoes. Not even of the more common run: skiing [the life of the anchovy is not for me, a mammalian at heart], snowboarding, getting drunk in alpine huts, dying in stupid-ass avalanches, chasing after a little black puck [and thus also ugly fist fights], etc. I mean the anti-cyclical stuff like riding one’s bike, running around outdoors or even, if we can manage to do so at some point, have a BBQ in the frost-crusted forest, what a joke.
It is a snow free December now, so I can spout all these nice fantasies. Soon enough they will be buried beneath a thick, real, melancholy cover of snow and all I will be left to appreciate and take refuge in, will be the purple luminosity of the night sky. Yes, snow brings the joys of a radiant night sky and nothing much more but to this, I promise to cling with ferocity… while I take a break from whatever reading’s being done.
Already I am fooling myself by claiming it is possible not to fall into seasonal sentiments, why else this acerbic cynicism? Do I really wish to convince the readers that stubbornly ignoring the elements is the best way to enjoy whatever time of year it is? Is not this a weakly, stupidly human craving to go so very much against the natural context we find ourselves set in, as though our will is so much more worthy than our body? Perhaps. The speculator and fantasizer in me does not want to take a definitive stance. Rather, let us look at what really, empirically happened.
The day the first white hit, I slid into a funk, no denying it. Once outside, the cold attacked my body on all fronts, especially the periphery and I found myself busy retracting stuff towards inner layers, wiggling my toes and contemplating how to minimize the time exposed to cold. In short, all my energies became devoted to dealing with the cold, to the point where, everybody knows this phenomenon, conversations become really brief and scrappy because you simply cannot be bothered to think about what to say next because you’re even busy at the mental level blocking out the cold. The totality of the effort is retrospectively, sitting at one’s warm hearth, sort of depressing.
That and the limit on mobility. Because we tend to have this self-image of being perfectly mobile or flexible all the time, of being, very theoretically, able to go wherever we choose [at least within city limits and outside of work-hours ;)]. And then the snow comes and is like “fuck you” and you just want it to go away because no matter its aesthetic appeal, you see on a daily basis what a drag it is on mobility.
But then you sort of dread it going away because it implies this even more dreadful intermediate phase where sidewalks and streets will be a’slosh in cold brown slush, possibly the messiest substance on the planet. If this unbalancing mush were sentient it could probably take over the world or smthng. Though, in the end, after all these nights of luminous skies and bleak, immobilized days you are still happy for the sun to show its face, a face you considered idiotic in the summertime.
And then the other thing I, we [g-friend and sillyme] really did when it was really cold, on a late-night walk home, is pretend it was summer and blistering hot, like “God, I’m gonna die from dehydration any minute now. I wish we could go down to the lakeside, take a little dip” one of us would proclaim, smile-faced with a huge plume of breath rising under the chemical orange of the streetlamp, goofily stepping over a heap of already retreating snow.
Did it help? Yes, it did indeed, in two ways even. For one there was the comic relief of trying to come up with ever more absurd, slightly childish statements in relation to the felt temperatures [“Damnit, I’d just about kill somebody for a cold coke right around now”]. Secondly, trying constantly to recall the heat blast of july, produced an almost tangible sensation of warmth from little caches of memory deposited, it would seem, all over the human body.