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Saturday December 08, 2001, 08:16

Finally, something to write home about.

The weather has finally dropped to something resembling "winter" weather and the holiday season might finally think it well and good enough to pay our little town a visit. You see, it's very difficult, given my upbringing, to celebrate anything around this time of year (including, but not limited to, Christmas, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, egg nog, Hannukah, ear infections) without a hearty dose of cold, and it's been right around not cold since the end of the summer. This is, of course, in my my mind, unacceptable, but I have come to the realization that mine is not to question the changing face of weather, but to simply gripe and hope for better times.

Last night, while walking to the subway, I was struck by a familiar feeling. A lost feeling. A feeling of, could it be? it was! shivers! Far from freezing, brisk air cut through the cloth of my pants and snuck in around my neck and forced me, with great anticipation, to extract my scarf from my bag and wrap it tightly around my neck. My teeth chattered with glee and I excitedly told my companion "it's winter! winter is here! 1"

I woke up this morning, face down on my couch, mere hours after falling asleep. By design or not, I was awake, and will try to attack the day with some sort of vigor. But it's difficult. Why? It just is. This time of year, this time of this year in particular. To go out and do anything can be grating when all you really want to do is sit back and let the world pass you by. The world was dead but waking when I was, this morning. I looked out of my window to see an orange ball of fire rising up over the horizon, cutting through the clouds. It was larger than I remembered it, and the glare cut through my apartment, forcing me to turn away.

And as I looked out at the sun, the sirens approached. Sirens mean something different, now, than they ever did before. Used to be that there was a siren, and you knew that something bad had happened and that someone was going to go and fix it. Sirens these days means that something bad has happened, or something bad is happening, or something bad might be happening, and there may not be a damn thing you can do about it.

The sirens approached, got louder and louder until they were right outside my building. And they stopped. I peered out and down at the big red trucks, flashing lights. Firefighters in full turnout gear tumbled out of the truck and headed down the sidewalk and into the subway.

It was the second time in as many days that I'd seen this happen. How long can this go on? Is it true, as they say, that everything has changed, and that this will continue to go on, forever? Well that's something to look forward to. Should I just resign myself that I will, for the rest of my life, see a police escort driving down 8th Avenue, the rear window of the rear SUV rolled down, a uniformed officer with a semi-automatic gun in the back seat, all but pointing out the window at me.

Like with the weather, it's not really my place to question these things. Or rather, my place or not, there's not much I can do in the way of questioning. All I can really hope is that things will change. Change back to something resembling normal. It's so very hot here in the city these days.

I just want it to cool down again.



1. I don't think it actually happened like that, but I do know that there was talk of the weather (as we often will when it is creeping up on 70 in December) and there was discussion of pants. That much is certain. The actual language of the conversation was left to my imagination, artistic license, if you will, but in the name of creating a story I will take that license. And you're going to like it.

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