Monday, December 20, 2010

Thirst

We all complain about the cold.

The universal discomfort we have all experienced. Often a mere passing, fleeting feeling that some unfortunate, yet still far too many, souls know true what Arctic conditions encompass.

I wrapped my first blanket around my legs and feet, and draped my serape over my shoulders, trying to expose as little to the bone-chilling night air. My third blanket became a 21st century corset for the homeless. Underneath: a jacket, sweater, two shirts and torn jeans over frayed moccasins were no match for December in Northeastern America.

After situating myself, I became still like the stoic winter darkness; a cloudless night with no stars to be seen through the biting cold air. I began to watch the vapors escape my mouth, realizing this was the last remaining warmth leaving my body. Soon, this surreal mist would grow more sparse until it would be null. It didn’t take long for my lenses to ice over. I reached a quivering hand to remove my frozen frames from my face. So cold. I glimpsed at this purple hand and wished it were a mere hallucination, that this was all part of a bigger, more significant reality. That there was purpose to my torment. All that came to my understanding was that tiny crystals of ice had now formed on my fabric wrappings; creating new constellations of icy silica for me to admire. Again, I knew I could never trump nature.

I took the longest breath possible hoping to relax my body; to slow my pulse and calm my frantic mind. But it was the first of only a few slowed intimations. It didn’t take long for my body to begin twitching; violent spasms reacting to panicking muscles. My heart raced as my breaths grew shallow and I felt my skin ripple. Knowing that this purple tinge was only temporary between the blotchy red stinging sensations and the lifeless blue loss of feeling only heightened my fear of fatality.

Not a single aspect of my persona, of my consciousness or cognizance, understood this circumstance. How had humans come to inhabit such a desolate space? Then again, I didn’t understand how I ended up here, alone in a near weightless poorly insulated convertible.

I suppose, I should’ve just drank the anti-freeze.