Cold. But not just cold. Not “hey, put on a jacket, it’s a bit nippy out” cold. This is a cold that attacks all of your exposed skin with tiny sharp prickly knives. A cold that will require an extra 10 minutes of preparation just to face it, wrapping up as much skin as possible with protective cottons, leathers and nylons.
Cold that feels like a physical presence you must move through and around to reach your eventual destination. A destination that will lock out the cold and slowly thaw your freezing extremities.
A painful cold that you breathe into your lungs, only to then expel a cloud of vapor as the warmth visually seeps out of your body.
A cold you cannot even really contemplate until it hits you in the face upon exiting your home in the morning. A cold that is reportedly 9° in the early morning before the sun has a chance to crest the horizon. A cold that even late in the day, has only doubled to about 18°.
Cold that you will avoid unless absolutely necessary. A cold that tries to trick you into disbelieving the reports of its brutality, appeasing and cajoling you with a bright and sunny day. A cold against which the weak mid-winter sunshine has no power.
Cold that initiates a Code Blue in the city, enabling homeless and elderly to seek additional shelter, to avoid the very real chance of freezing to death on the streets. A cold that forces water mains under city streets to break.
Cold like an ominous intruder, crawling over and peeking into your home, forcing your central heating to keep constant vigilance against this attempted menacing intrusion.
Cold that frightens you while standing in your kitchen late at night, when you hear the sound of an explosion outside of your home, while simultaneously seeing what looks like a dirty snowball flung against your back porch window. A cold that causes metal to be shoved and stretched by the frozen ice crystals of the caffeinated beverage within, eventually bursting through the twisted and sliced-open metal in an explosion of slushy soda. A cold that freezes your own resolve to remove the remaining soda cans from the back porch and bring them into the warmth of the house, for fear that they will then explode and coat your kitchen with syrupy slush.
A cold that makes you long for the beaches and gentle breezes of summertime. A cold that gives you amnesia, erasing all your memories of frolicking in shorts and flip-flops. A cold that seems to last for an eternity. To deny even the existence of spring, which seems like years, and not just a few short months away. A cold that lives deep inside of you and refuses to acknowledge an eventual thaw.