For every cloyingly sentimental pile of schmaltz there is level 10 karma personified by an oversized foot ready to stick out from the alleyway as you skip on by. I wrote that the storm of the century was to be an auspiciously timed blessing, an early birthday gift of white fluffy angel dander disguised in the form of school closures and snow days. Followed by a pre-planned (SCORE) vacation to even more snow and that precious commodity of forced family togetherness. ME AND MY BIG KEYBOARD. wah wah wahhhhh
Perhaps Herman Melville's Moby Dick was an allegory for snow. It weren't no whale Ahab was possessed of, it was simply weather that drove the old salt mad. We spent the first night sledding and marveling at the sheer alabaster volume of joy.
And then the gods remember how much of a ne-er-do-well I was until just last year and BAM gelid vengeance and unempowerment and mothers-in-law. And a canceled vacation and 5 days without electricity and a headache from the depths of a Bee Gees song.
It's funny, though. Amidst all the despair, a strange thing happened. Our neighborhood became a neighborhood. All the people cooped up during most of our daily lives emerged from their igloos. We had daily shovel parties and pushed stuck cars even deeper into the snow and offered up what foodstores we had and cell phone lines and booze and cigarettes. And a generator I bought years ago, sitting unopened in my garage turned me into a sort of rescue paternal figure, and we had light, and lo it was actually kind of cool.
I figured out no less than three different ways to bathe in these conditions, all of which required screaming as part of the technique. We had a ready excuse to grill all the best and rapidly thawing food in the freezer and discard the rest to start over my god is their anything more beautiful than a refrigerator that says LET'S START FROM SCRATCH other than a pretty girl with rosy winter cheeks and peppermint oil in her hair.
And then I got the coolest gift from Vahid (books are always the coolest gift, even from people who mislike you) and it was signed by the author and it made me dig up my old copy of neuromancer and power and righteousness and decency were restored to the land.
The guy who gave me that copy of neuromancer was my closest friend in college, and since he has since died, it is the only thing I have left of those fair days before we had to creep and grow along our very different paths.