I can’t get warm.
It has been so cold outside lately, especially in the evenings. I keep walking in it. It pierces the exposed bits of skin on my face where my thick, green scarf and knitted hat won’t meet. Pin pricks on my cheeks, and nose, and I keep my head facing forward, concentrating on the nowhere I am going. My breath clouds me as I try to follow it with my eyes, each exhalation fades into the dark grey that surrounds me. There is a tiny hole in the corner of my left mitten, so I keep my hands jammed in my pockets. The soft pad of my finger traces the bottom of my pocket where a penny resides, tiny cold metal.
My mind has been aching for weeks, months. Too much drinking, dancing, singing, laughing, crying, working, reading, moving, always, always moving. It is as if there just isn’t room up there for me anymore.
The long streets stretch before me, with seemingly endless sighs. The houses are quiet, warm hubs. The tall, black trees make this street a cave. I just recycle songs.
I take a deep breath, the approaching winter fills me. Winter is something I can both taste and smell, sharp snowflakes, mixed with dirty city air dissolve in my lungs. A painful comfort, because it makes me endure reality.
Salt, snow, and leaves crunch beneath my dead boots as I march through the tail end of this transitional season. The sky is always either pink, or grey. The sun is long gone now, and the darkness breaks the static in my brain into two halves. Each side is folded into pockets, and the noise quells as the snow drifts in.
My toes are hard, my skin is at constant alert, and my nose will inevitably drip. I can't get warm, but this late November impression keeps self-sufficiency on my side.