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Winter's Freeze

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Hawk 34

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It was just past one but there was an ominous breeze filtering through the white skies on Tuesday. I sat in class and every single pair of eyes looked away watching the snow start to pick up. We knew it was coming but the anticipation was building, a buzz of whispers shooting through the air with the keypad blips of txt messaging and the gentle tapping on lap tops. All focus on class had expired once the snow finally collapsed down from the tight grips of the clouds and slammed onto the waiting campus. Numbers had been thrown out but the crude measurement with a tape measure out in the parking lot as I dodged cars and a stampede of paranoia read the story. 5 ¾ inches. It was just starting, it would reach higher later that night but combine with the below freezing temperatures and icy conditions foretold a scary adventure. It wasn’t the amount of snow that was the concern; it was the icy conditions and horrible road conditions.

 

I had to make a decision that morning. I knew all too well that these weather conditions were coming. Two weeks ago, I finally put up that old pick up truck that I drove since my accident two months ago and brought (against my initial intentions) a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi (a fucking machine) but instead of driving it that day, I knew my mother would be working downtown into the middle of the afternoon. Instead of letting her drive her old car that has seen better days, I gave her the keys to my brand new truck. Aren’t I a great son?

 

I finally found my way out through the shuffle of the parking lot. 5,500 students converging onto a one lane road all driving no faster then 15 MPH. It took approximately 35 minutes to travel 2 miles. A slightly longer wait and I made it through the town and reached the express way. The problem with this expressway was simply that it was basically a curvy hill and of course, the road crews hadn’t bothered to get to this specific area. It was coming down strong. Windshield wipers froze almost instantly. The skies fell darker in the early afternoon and the only option was instinct. A 2 lane expressway had become a 5 wide slip and slide Daytona 500 mess. No order can possibly function at these times. The urge of survival kicks in and everyone seeks their own grooves, that secret spot on the road that leads to freedom but instead just arrive to constant frustration.

 

Soon enough it feels monotonous. You almost adapt to moving like a snail at 20 MPH watching snow hail over your window (snow surf). Of course, there were the jackasses who felt that going faster on ice and snow was the better alternative. The world would be less shitty if these fuck-wads expired. Cars struggled to climb up the hills and I watched them in front of me, a good deal of distance away rock back and forth.

 

I finally got off that expressway and I felt secure in the rest of my trip home. I still had classes at another school in Middletown, but Middletown is horrendous with road crews and no class is ever worth spending an extra 2-3 hours there then I already am. I finally got home. What was usually just 20 minutes took two hours. I was already dressed to stay home and take in the falling snow but I got that phone call that I should have known was coming. I looked down and saw Allison was calling and I knew instantly what it was for. The keys were in my hands by the time I said “Hello”.

 

She works downtown. Normally its 25 minutes away but I knew better. Not only did I buy myself a new truck but I also brought her a car since hers was a pain to keep fixing up and wasn’t worth the time nor price. It wasn’t anything special. Just a cheap but dependable Saturn that I brought off a guy my father knew. Instead of driving down there, she took the bus because she wanted to save gas money. Usually, I’d applaud that but not in this case. I was off to go “rescue” her. Luckily for me, my mother had just arrived as I was leaving. So I wasn’t forced to fight through that in that old car again. The roads should have improved with a couple hours passed but the road crew had very little effect on the conditions. Although I hated driving in these conditions, I took a slight piece of happiness in this. It was good, if only for confirmation to know that she isn’t completely independant. It’s a fantastic trait but there’s always a time you want to feel like they need you for more then just being a fuck toy.

 

I arrived at the hotel well after I left the house and the night had already fell but I could see her standing by a door and I was taken aback by the sight of her breaking into a wide smile and doing that thing she does with her tongue when she smiles like that. Took us just as long to get back to my house but the trip home was probably the most, well, fun time I ever had driving 10 MPH on a icy highway with a deluge of pissed off drivers wanting to get home in time to catch American Idol or whatever crappy CBS action show was on.

 

I’ve always said that winter was the best time of the year and I continue to insist on that. Some think that the heat of the summer, the calmness of fall and the bloom of spring is the best and that can be understood but winter’s freeze creates this complete alternate world where somehow you become warmer against the dark cold nights. The best times of my life were always during the winter months and I’ll always associate snow for happiness. Things just feel good right now and I can hardly believe that a couple entries ago, I was pissed and bitter about life. Yeah, I know these times aren’t always here to stay and that the snow will soon melt and spring will begin.

 

There’s a lot of resentment around this place. People are so angry and many don’t seem to be willing to change that. Certain people are more obvious then others. I’ve been there, hell just a few weeks ago I was feeling down but there really isn’t a reason to be negative. Sure, the world sucks. Nothing changes and we’re just waiting for death but maybe you should drive in the snow every once in awhile to remember it doesn’t always have to be shitty.

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