Last week the flurries started. They really began on New Year’s Eve, the day I drove away from a warm heart and to a cold empty house that I wanted to fill with all my wishes for the coming year. Wishes full, I lay down at ten minutes to midnight, not realizing that the standard way to bring in a new year around here is with all the leftover July fireworks. Someone even torched a minivan just a block away that night. I’ve considered torching minivans myself, and might have had I ever actually owned one, but likely not as a way to bring in wishes for the coming year.
The flurries began that day and it started snowing harder in the days afterward. Sad, lonely, desperate people who wanted fixing or at least hope that they could be fixed. They reached black lonely tendrils to me, tendrils that I should know better than to accept, and soon I was Atlas holding up the world on my narrow shoulders, unable to speak or breathe.
My childhood was populated by monsters and witches who lived under my bed and in my closet, coming out at night to masquerade as shapes that became chairs and other mundane items when the lights were switched on. It didn’t help that somebody thought it was a good idea to take me to see a bad B-movie sci-fi flick called The Lost Continent that featured seaweed that would reach in through ship portholes and grab people, making a weird rattling sound.
I heard that seaweed this past week, those black tendrils reaching for me choking out light and air until all I felt was the song of the unburdened.
Having dispensed with the seaweed with the handy axe the witches had left under my bed, I noticed that I was snowed in. Six feet of snow covered the front door. Cars looked like hummocks. The air was crisp and still. Nothing moved.
I took a shovel the size of my thumb and shoveled the city free. When people awoke in the morning, there was no trace of white.
And I slept.
The snow started again today, flurries falling on my face and eyelashes. Soon I’ll be sleeping under a warm blanket in welcome darkness. I reach my green seaweed tendrils toward the light, waving tentacles that could twine around a hot air balloon and lift me up, up from the snow, carrying me over pristine high white glistening mountains.
Free to fill my year with the wishes I began with a snap and a bang.