Last year, at this time, I was in a horrible place. I can’t say the year became better. This year we are only 12 days in and it has not been the best. People have had it worse. Our weather has been below zero. It made me laugh and reflect because at this time last year, I did not want to be here. I contemplated and acted on freezing myself to death. There are worse ways to go. Instead, I came to some sense and wrote. For those who have read it before, thank you for tolerating it again.
I step into the sub zero night.
Intentionally, I’m underdressed for the occasion. No hat, no gloves, no scarf. Deliberate disrespect.
I sit down on my stoop and close my eyes. The tears fall freely and too quickly to freeze. Are they due to sadness or the element? Does it really matter?
I inhale steadily through my nose. My membranes sting as the air gains admittance. My lungs protest at the lack of warmth and exhale the unpleasant variation in the form of a cough. I breathe through my mouth to show how it could be much worse.
My body begins to convulse uncontrollably. My mind takes over. It becomes the voice of reason and calm. Or is it the voice of illusion?
“How easy this could be.”, it coaxes. It tells me to stay on the stoop. I feel my vitals slow. My metaphorically frozen heart yearns for the literal.
My extremities follow.
The voice coos, “Now isn’t that much better for everyone?”
How easy it could be. So easy.
The voice of sanity interrupts with a jolt.
You didn’t win.
I’m not quite there, now.