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Monday, March 03, 2008

Winter of our discontent

Today, for the first time in many, many days, it's not disgusting outside. It's in the mid-50s, and the sun is shining. Winter, which began about eight or nine months ago, has taken a momentary pause to remind us that it doesn't always have to be cold, dreary, and gross. When I stepped outside today I was immediately blinded by the sun, squinting and pathetically shielding my face with my arm, like a vampire with a Jansport backpack. As I got used to this so-called "sun-light," and as my pale, nearly translucent body absorbed the Vitamin D it has desperately craved, I found the sensation to be a pleasant one. Gradually I lowered my arm, my pupils dilated appropriately, and I was a happy camper. Now I'm sitting here at school clad in a Polo, with my fleece and my long underwear safe and unnecessary back at home.

This is a huge change from the weekend: on Saturday afternoon I was walking around and found that even though it was chilly outside, in the sunshine it was warm. As I returned home from the Strand I knew I should go for a run while it was still relatively pleasant. So I pulled on a long-sleeve t-shirt and some shorts and headed outside around three o'clock. But as soon as I stepped outside, it was evident that something had changed: the sky had darkened, and there was a thick, low bank of clouds covering the city like steel wool. Undaunted, I started jogging towards the piers. The wind was buffeting me through the side streets and a wet fleck hit me square in the eye -- it was snow. Soon I could see it flurrying all around me, the snowflakes flying crazily through the air as the cold wind bounced around the buildings and streets.

I couldn't turn around because I had only gone about 200 feet. What was I going to do, come home and just change back into my clothes? So, in the inexplicable midday darkness of this hellish, completely unromantic urban winter, I was jogging along Hudson River Park, through the snow, in my shorts. You are an idiot, I thought. Thankfully I saw a few other guys in shorts who were running too, with their legs looking red and chapped. No one looked that happy, yet I felt we all shared a mutual sense of sheepishness, of miscalculation. Not a great run by any means.

But today, unlike Saturday, there is no snow, and no darkness. Today you could actually believe that winter might someday end.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Round these parts we are beginning to think that spring really will just skip the midwest this year.

Oh, it's sunny, sunshine for days, but sunshine is not so comforting when it is still 10 degrees outside, with a windchill kicking us in to the negatives.

Enjoy your 50 degrees! I burn with jealousy. Or freeze, rather.