Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Breathe

The clouds were high and faraway but in our faces as our breath caught in the air in front of us turned crystalline and wafted away, a dust that covered the sidewalk, the roofs and hoods of the cars in the parking lot, the windows of the buildings. Ice-dust everywhere, slippery and hard to walk on. The leash turned to ice and my fingers stiffened, along with my back and every muscle in my body, especially the spot where my neck meets my shoulders. I could feel the ice even there. As we slid our way down to the mailbox I looked up as a plane growled somewhere overhead, a low menacing sound, mechanical and rhythmic, a sound that portends a menace in film, and at that moment the clouds cleared, slid away from the sky and the stars bit at us. Someone has torn a hole in the sky and all the heat of the world has seeped out, leaving a void that's been filled by the cold of space. The kind of cold I imagine inhabits the moon and the dark places of the solar system where the sun can not reach. I shivered as Duncan squatted, still staring high above me as the clouds swallowed the hole, the stars blinked out but still bit. It's too cold to walk. Too cold to stand still. Almost too cold to breathe.

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