Friday, September 10, 2004

brr, it's hot cold in here

Posted by Hello

[I was thinking about winter, last night, unable or unwilling to fall asleep just yet. I went into my closet and pulled out an old friend, and then wrote this in my journal. And of course, now that I have access to a webcam, I no longer have to rely solely on my powers of verbal evocation.]

I miss winter.

The very beginning times, the first cold days, the first snow, walking to a coffee shop with friends and everything is sparkling around you. Hiding your nose in your mittens and learning to decipher talk that is muffled through scarves. Boots, coats, hats. Running from your apartment to the laundry room in the building across wearing shorts and a tshirt, and sandals and gasping from cold that is almost baptismal. Straight down into your soul it goes, and opens your eyes that were drooping with weariness a minute before in the heat of your room.

Winter is the season of my green scarf.

Freshman year, a trip to the thrift store ("the department store of thrift!") with my roommate and our mutual friends- well, her friends for ages, that were mine now as well out of necessity, and nearness. I didn't need anything, maybe a new shirt or two, a funky jacket perhaps? (I was addicted to Adidas jackets) The store yielded up nothing I wanted, so I settled by the changing rooms to wait for my companions. Nearby: a rack of scarves. Some patterned, some 70s brown and hideous, some too thin, some too short, one green.

One green that was the perfect length (an end hanging down, the other end up around the neck and back to join its friend tucked securely into my jacket), the perfect fabric (wool, but not scratchy, wool that's been domesticated), with tassels (long ones!). Not flashy like those johnny-come-lately scarves, all tarted up in stripes and polka dots and penquins wearing hats, but just a green you don't see very often. True green, secondary color green, blue and yellow had a love child and here it is. Sea green, no, what a silly frosty color; forest green, oh, too dark!; lime green, ick- like, the 80s are so over, puh-lease!; no, almost grass green but not quite, brighter, but not loud, just green (you want to say it matches my eyes? oh, thank you, that's so sweet of you!).

One green that was the only scarf I wore for four winters, even indoors when the coat and mittens and hat had gone back to rest on a chair, or in a locker. The scarf stayed loosely around my neck (not wrapped, like the vocalists do, gosh, they're so eccentric, aren't they? always humming and screaming randomly in the hallways, like mental patients) so I could play with the tassels, or warm my nose against the wool (my nose was always going numb in winter).

One green that still, when sniffed, smells the way snow does when it's been melted by your breath.

I want winter this year, even if it's the dreary brown part (but preferably not the mushy part), I want cold and flushed cheeks and legs going numb on the walk home. Where you have to layer so you don't freeze outside and suffocate inside. I want the tree lights on State Street and my friends' faces sharpened against the fall of flakes around them. I want to complain about the cold but secretly enjoy it, knowing I don't want to be anywhere else but in it, travelling through it, coming out fresh in spring and remembering how wonderful it is to wear flip-flops to class and play frisbee with my brass quintet.

I miss winter because at the end of it- there's spring.