25. The Cold

Something terrible has happened in Santa Fe. It got cold. There were no announcements, no warnings. No coy hints from Mother Nature that very soon we would all be wearing a minimum of three shirts before venturing outside.

There are some people who, for masochistic reasons, enjoy the cold. This is insanity. They picture the fall and winter as some pastoral period of joy in which they sit inside huddled in comfortable blankets, drink hot cocoa or tea and sing hymns around a fire or space heater of some kind. In reality, this takes up approximately 8% of your time during cold periods. The remaining 92% is spent in a shivering hell. Every time you open the door, the initial blast of wind numbs your entire body for several seconds. As you step outside, your nasal passages freeze and you immediately begin to question why the fuck you didn’t just go to California for college like your higher achieving friends. And your jacket is never warm enough.

I’ve lived in the Midwest for most of my life. Midwestern winters are the closest thing that the United States has to Siberia. Thus, I wanted to go to a place that experienced as much snowfall as Venus. I naively associated “desert” with “hot” and chose to go to college in New Mexico. Stupid, stupid me. Desert cold is the same as Midwest cold but with more wind, less humidity, and no mercy. During the darkest depths of winter, I start to consider just wearing my blankets to class.

The cold and I have become bitter enemies over the years. I remember younger days of yore when I would anxiously await the first snow of the year and eagerly pray for school to be cancelled so I could stay home and play Ocarina of Time or watch All That or do whatever the fuck I did growing up in the 90’s. As I grew older and more wise to the cruel poetry of the world, I saw cold for what it was. A terrible environment that we have spent our entire human history, since the time of cavemen, trying as hard as we can to survive it. I won’t mention snow because that will get its own entry in the future.

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