Episode 15

Heat of Fusion

January 18

Note: Above picture is not actually Boston. It isnít snowing here. Itís too cold to snow.

Everything is frozen. The streets, saturated with saline chemicals after countless waves of salting, now appear surreally white, like long dry paths of ivory. Those walking to towards the west must compete with a siege of frigid air, pushing and shoving its way in the opposite direction. The sun offers solace only to fools in hopeful denial. Nature is doing everything in Her power to spite all life in this frigid realm.

And yet life goes on. As if in spite, our classes remain open (unlike the local public schools, closed by government mandate). Whether our perseverance is a sign of indefatigable will or a warning of our blind obedience to a self-serving authority is another question. Time will tell.

The colder is becomes, the stronger our resistance. I feel it now. It broke above freezing temperature today, a good 30 degrees Fahrenheit above the days before. I feel perfectly comfortable like this now. Adjustment is possible. But I doubt any level of adaptation could prepare one for subzero weather and a 20 mile-per-hour steady gust of wind, lowering the wind chill factor to obscene levels.

Iíve felt this wind before. A long time ago, I know Iíve felt this, I must have. But itís different now. Then, I bit my lip and smiled, or turned away. Now all I do is glare into the onslaught, as my blood turns to crystal and darkness encompasses my weary eyes. Iím too tired to face this challenge now, but then, I donít have a choice, do I?

We do not choose our battles. We cannot predetermine our own hardships, for they are set in motion by powers beyond our control before we can even comprehend their existence. The curse of man is not to pay for his acts of Choice but to prepare for the whims of Chance, not to suffer for his decisions but to be assaulted by his destiny.

I see my destiny in the winter. I see myself walking down a lifeless, sallow road. I find myself standing, alone with a crowd, waiting for the deliverance that never comes, waiting and watching the adjacent tunnel for a light, for a source of hope, but finding only a mocking silence. Bloody MBTA.

The cold is fighting like it has nothing left to lose. And why not shouldnít it? This winter, like all, will pass, and Iíll still be here forever. The cold is stinging, bitter. Bitter over its own mortality.

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