Our recent plunge into subzero weather has transformed me from a spindly old dame into a stout, full-figured Russian nesting doll. I’m literally encased inside layer after layer after layer of thick, weighty, wooly clothes. I’m not so much dressed as upholstered — in a grossly overstuffed sense.
As a consequence, walking is but a distant memory these frigid days. I can achieve forward momentum only by tipping from side to side, which gives me the fluid and lively gait of a wind-up toy. Or a short Frankenstein, something stiff and mechanical at any rate. Should I topple over, I will die. My feet will never touch ground from a horizontal position, they’ll stick straight out due to the layers and strata of underwear and leggings and pants, flailing uselessly to gain a toehold.
Winter, my friends, is a long, hard grind. Discomfort abounds and everyday living requires maximum effort. If you’re not mufflered and mittened and sweatered and hatted, if you’re not a swollen, slow-moving pile of clothing, you’re chained to a washing machine — laundering load after load. And your carpet is aglitter with shards of road salt and sparkly fallout from Christmas cards. It’s really kind of dazzling when the sun’s just right. The floor twinkles and glimmers and winks until you finally haul out the vacuum and put a stop to all the flashy razzle-dazzle.
Should you decide to take a break from the drudgery and go shopping or visiting, your puffy new self bumps into people, crashes into displays, knocks stuff off shelves — you are an accident in progress. I am, anyway. I’m a pinball in the wintertime, careening from pillar to post and my mantra is ‘oh, sorry, excuse me, beg your pardon, whoops, did I do that?, could you help me up, uh-oh, let me pay for that, so sorry … ‘
So I park myself here. In my wide-aisled, uncluttered home, where I sit and drink coffee. Once in a while I’ll clamber to my feet and totter off to the bathroom, where I turn on the heat lamp and bask. Happy, once again, to feel a reminder of summertime’s sunny warmth. I miss my shorts. Heck, I miss my knees — they bent on demand.
Gosh, such good times.
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