February 10, 2011

I Don't Mind The Cold

She puts on her leg warmers, wraps a scarf around her neck, and asks me how I can stand walking home from the metro each night. "I don't mind the cold," I simply reply.

When the metro doors open, the cold grabs me by the waist and pulls me close. Kisses my cheeks softly. I take the first deep breath slowly but gulp down the next few, one after another. The fresh air is the quickest cure for my seasick stomach and stale commute. The crowd moves as one wave towards the escalator and we ride down toes to heels and shoulder to shoulder. I'm holding my breath and fighting my tired, closing eyes. At the bottom, I search for my metro card and burst through the gates. Find my stride as I hit the tunnel to the parking lot and the cold reaches for my hand. I slip on my mittens before I grab hold.

The violin echos at the other end, against the night sky and glowing lights. Sweet sadness and joy rolled into one and rolled over me. High notes held and running, sparking deep within. They light up my face and slow down my feet. His face is young but his eyes hold an old soul that streams out of his finger tips. I would stay all night, but the cold sweeps back my hair and coaxes me forward.

I lean into it and wait for the rest of the world to disappear into the dark night. When the violin's song fades away, I turn up my ipod and silently serenade the cold. Let my head bop and shoulders sway; I'm filling up the space in my own world.

I remind the cold of our time together in Western New York. How it stole my breath every day but showed me the most pristine, still lake on silent mornings and white capped waves when the wind rushed in. How sub-zero nights make for the brightest moon reflections and soul reflections. Standing on the bank halfway between, always halfway between, the cold embraced every inch of the body and commanded "Stand still. Until you know where you are going." Or on the nights and mornings and afternoons when I had direction, it hurried me along, "Go, go, go."

It tells me now that it is coming with me; I can't leave it behind. I try, as I move through the parking lot and cross over onto the sidewalk, to walk so quickly that it can't keep up. But it stays with me, keeping my pace, nuzzling into my face. I laugh as I stop for the next crosswalk, because I'm out of breath and the cold's still there, my constant companion. Just us, always just us. It has me laughing and my cheeks rosey. "Let's go!" it encourages for the final stretch. The best stretch. Its touch numbs my face but gives my feet their pace, their rhythm. Endorphins erupt and I think I must be glowing because the cold whispers "beautiful" in my ear.

It always carries me the last few steps and puts me down gently on my doorstep. I grapple for my house keys and it squeezes my hand one last time before I open the door and walk through.

"I don't mind the cold," I simply replied.


  1. Hi Emily! I did finally figure it out! Somehow or other I hadn't really focused on your photo the first time I was here but now that I see it (and before that with a bit of help from A) I totally know who's blog this is!!! YAy! So glad we can meet up this way and that I get to know another "in real life" blogger :)

    this was a great post by the way although I'm happy to report that I can't totally relate to the cold today- it's actually quite balmy here (for now!).

    Have a great week!

  2. Yay! I am glad you figured it out - I knew you would! I'm also glad you got a mid-season reprieve from the cold. We had a high of 73 here last Friday, but then it iced and snowed this morning... I guess we have to wait a little longer for spring. I think I'm okay with that though! =) Hope all is going well! xo