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.