Feeling internal and contemplative tonight. I’ll simply capture the thoughts as they visit and morph and take their own form.
Drawing inward, trying to stay inside my own coloring lines, but yet…hover above them, transcending them, showing them who’s actually boss.
Thinking about the semi-Arctic chill that has descended way too early in the year for South Texas, and by South Texas standards, it’s pretty damn chilly.
And I walk around outside. My apartment complex is liberally sprinkled with trees, lots of trees, that have been allowed to mature and flourish.
I used to hate the cold, because it threatened impending snowfall, in places I used to live. Snowfall that, when you’re a child, you love, because it provides endless raw material for building snow forts, and who cares, because you’re not responsible for driving in it. That’s for grownups to worry about. But when you become one of those grownups, the days of building snow forts are far behind you, and the idea of snow simply means a longer and more dangerous commute because, as one of those grownups, I am responsible for the driving now. Except that 20 years can pass between fraction-of-an-inch snowfalls (South Texan translation: ice storms), and the businesses in our area have the good sense to shut down during these events, so the cold is fun again.
Because now, I have a New-and-Improved(TM) appreciation for that icy-cold wind now: it means that everyone goes inside. Yep, even on a Friday night, the place is pin-drop silent. An invisible cotton blanket has completely muted everything. There are no pounding car stereo systems, with their buh-boom-boom-boom. There are no dogs yipping, no car doors slamming, no kids hollering, no deck parties hosted by 20-somethings (or immature 30- or 40-somethings) lasting late into the night. It’s completely silent. And it’s just-as-completely lovely.
The Silent Wave has frozen, become The Silent Glacier…or perhaps, The Silent Icicle. I can’t feel my fingers, but who cares? It’s blissful anyway. Wintertime evens out the playing field, creating a world built to suit me a little more. The neurotypical people had their way in the summertime, and they were crawling like ants, all over the freeways and the strip malls and the restaurants. They filled the outdoor patios and saturated the city parks, leaving me with no place to go but my own home for solitude and sanity.
…Except now. Here I am. In total peace and quiet. Smelling the heavenly aroma of the wood-burning fireplaces. Feeling sorry for the trees that donated their bodies for the sake of our warmth and comfort, but reveling in the sensory afferentation–and deprivation–just the same. The world is my own sensory deprivation tank. The only sound I hear is some relentless traffic on a distant thoroughfare, but it doesn’t matter–it’s far away from me, creating a benign backdrop of white noise, made even more so–and more pleasant–by my hearing loss.
It won’t last long. Wintertime in South Texas is fleeting, lasting only until roughly the second week of February. And then the flowers come out, filling the air with regal scents and exquisite colors. And unfortunately, so do the people, except that they don’t bring any fringe benefits like vibrant colors and rich, beautiful scents. They provide no joy for me. They’re just additional obstacles to maneuver, another chance to be heckled, another self-appointed judge, additional agents of the mainstream that I’ve come to loathe. I’ll enjoy this time while I can, while it’s here.
Because the masses, they’re hibernating now, in their modern-day caves, leaving the outdoors and all of its glory for me to enjoy, alone and in peace. Because I can stand the cold now. I’ve learned to do it, because it’s the only chance I have at peace. It’s advantageous to learn to exist in an environment not palatable for the masses. It provides my freedom and my solace.
And when I return to our apartment, the warmth of the just-yesterday-activated furnace will greet me, and swirl around me, mingling with the brief draft of chilly air that will accompany me inside. It will mingle with the warm air, forming tentacles that wrap around us briefly before dissipating. My partner and our cats will be waiting, the latter wagging their tails. We’ll settle in under blankets on this Friday night, going nowhere except what we can virtually reach through our cable TV and high-def electronic device screens. We’ll rest and recharge, knowing we don’t have anywhere to go tomorrow, no obligations for two days. After my partner starts to fade and succumbs to sleep, I’ll sneak over to the thermostat and bump it down a smidgeon. We sleep in separate areas, for I’ll predictably be awake a lot longer and later into the night than he.
And that’s OK. Everything is OK.