First thing this morning, I took Dante to the leash outside, in nothing but my pajama pants. It was freezing out, still snowing lightly, but after the initial surprise, my feet felt fine. I stood there breathing it in, doing that intense rhythmic cycle breathing that mountain climbing guru Wim Hof teaches.
I learned this fact, about how the cold doesn’t really hurt a while ago. I guess the first time when I was 11ish, and it was Halloween and we were hit with a freak eighteen inches of snow . And most everyone turned in and gave up, but me and my buddies kept it going. How all the people were impressed, doubled up the candy donations, told us we were crazy, but smiled as they said it, envious I’d like to think.
Learned it again at twenty, was in a weird no-shoes phase of life. Winter came, I had went to see an exgirlfriend at her dorm, had gotten drunk at a bar (think I got by with a pair of flip-flops which I would slide off after I had penetrated the establishment), and came out and snow was everywhere. Everything was frozen, yet I felt nothing. Remember so clearly, climbing a hill back to the dorms in a stupor, yet hyperaware that I had moved beyond normal human perception somehow. I was ultra-aware of a fire that came from inside our bodies, that could warm against the winter. And it was liberating to realize that, to shake it off, roll with it, learn to laugh at the challenge.
That was the night of my first, and only, three way kiss, a final meaningless gesture from an ending relationship, numb and sort of detached like the cold, yet pleasurable in a viscearal way. That’s the yearning, to escape into the body, to be the thing which is natural, in its place, in the snow.
Time to go sledding!