It's me on the street today, collar of a long coat up against my neck, one hand pinched around my throat trying to seal off any free space for the snow to sneak through. Because the snow is not falling, it's flying sideways, horizontal across the ground. The wind is hitting 20mph consistently, and gusting up to 30 or higher it feels like. I'm passing people uselessly flailing umbrellas before them, as the bluster turns the nylon inside out, bending the silver lines that would normally keep it taught. I've never understood umbrellas in the snow anyway, like a duck on the mountain, they just shouldn't be there. What are they shielding themselves from? A snowflake?
I round the corner onto Prince and the slush on the ground lubricates the foothold, the wind pushing me eversoslightly backwards, like a scene from some absurd Charlie Chaplin film. I'm skating. I'm freezing.
I duck into a coffee shop to order one and throw in some sugar and some milk. I extract a butt from the pack and purse it in my lips. I stand there with my hands in my pockets. I wait.
Outside the wind whips through the concrete canyons and I wonder if I can alliterate anymore than I already have.
As I turn the corner, the cigarette in my left hand, I lift my elbow to shield my face from the falling snow, which is not falling, its flying, right at me, sticking and stinging into my eyes, onto my chin, the back of my neck, any open and exposed portion of skin.
And I'm thinking it's just too miserable outside.
And I'm thinking of firesides and rented films.
And I'm thinking of warmer places.
And I think of that girl.
And suddenly I miss her.
And I take a drag and flip inside and there's no snow to brush off. It might have flown towards me and off.
And I exhale and take a sip of coffee, unbutton my coat and unzip the jacket beneath. I remove the hat from my head and run my fingers through my hair. With another sip of coffee I'm on the elevator and back up to work.
When someone upstairs asks me how it is outside I answer, "It's snowing sideways."