The morning announced itself with breath-fulls of wintry bliss. A crawling commute prodded along up and down the hill as though they had never driven through snow before. The silence whistled through the gutted hollows brushing past the abode. Surely, it has arrived; the blustery forecast was on point. The cracks and echoes of weighed down branches echoed through the valley – it now becomes a cherished beauty that so few embrace.
An inviting cup of dark roasted coffee awakens me as I take in the outside elements. A steamy cinnamon roll to my left calls to me, but I brush it aside for the next kitchen visitor. He however rests deeply in REM – his snuffles emanate the upper room and trickle down through a vent. The backdrop of television mutters through the calm of the waking day. A peaceful ease relaxes me momentarily. I almost wish that this little window of peaceful contentment never ends, but I know that time is marching along steadily towards the rising of life. There is something about the world just before it awakens; you can almost hear the earth singing. Once the rest of the commute begins, the busied rush of air hisses from the street while the boom boom and beep beep interrupt the tranquility of stillness. Too many people busy themselves so much that they probably don’t notice these little snippets of comfortable solitude.
A chirping from the alarm abruptly ends my window of morning observation as I proceed to awaken my little school-goer for her big half day excursion. While she wipes the sleep from her eyes, something about the room reminds me that its the end of the week. My mind smiles because this means after tonight I will have two full days of down-time. Nothing niggles at my exhaustion more than having something unfinished yet in tow. On this 5-day stretch, I met all deadlines a day ahead of time so that I could reward myself with much needed rest. This is the best gift I could ever give to myself.
Time counts down as the school-goer finishes her own morning routine of visiting the bathroom and dressing for the day. We sit together and joke around while I run a wide-bristle brush through her thick fair hair. Her happy demeanor brushes a smile across my face while I acknowledge that the roads are likely snow-blistered which meant we would have to begin our commute 5 minutes earlier than the normal departure time. I offer her the semi-steamy fresh cinnamon roll and she consumes at least half and tells me a story about her favorite class-mate. To wash it down, I give her a refreshing cup of milk. For some reason, she isn’t a fan of the Byrne Dairy egg-nog so I stare quietly for a moment at the quart of it understanding that I will be stuck drinking it alone. After she has taken 5 healthy sips, we dress up for the wintry climes and continue on our way.
We began slowly up the hill, and then around a few bends towards the school. She cheerfully sang Jingle Bells to herself as I carefully maneuvered through the unkempt street. On occasion, I felt the front end tires slip gently around the sharper curves but continually encouraged her to sing so that she didn’t recognize the treacherous conditions of the road. We make it past the curvy section and through the small valley, finally reaching the main road. I have a proximal visibility of zero once I began east. A wall of white surrounded us. Its was actually visually stunning. No others were ahead or behind us; it was pure white shimmering beauty for the next 5 miles. I thought about the time I walked for 5 hours through a blizzard after working a grueling 10 hour shift – the road was long and white and glistened in the moon’s rays. My old car just couldn’t handle the winter that night. Its battery had depleted and I was the last person to leave the building. My fascination of the winter landscape ran amok and though my legs were beat from the concrete floors, I barely noticed their exhaustion. There’s a certain type of sound that crawls through an undisturbed forest in the winter; it could only be defined as nature’s symphony reeling in the bliss of a still and silent night. The memory fades once I reach her school. We part ways and she runs into the building in a cheerful delight.
The drive back home was a silent feat – I observed one passer-by and maneuvered my way back through the curvy road and securely parked shortly after. The sweeping silence welcomed me as I made my way through the house. The fiance’s snores still lingered down through the vent, I almost envied his ability to remain in REM through the commotion of us leaving, and then my returning. A sincere exhaustion overcame me soon after, so I joined him for a nap. He barely moved once I entered the bed.
My eyelids wouldn’t drape right away. Somehow my mind was rewinding reels of recent memories of the day the fiance introduced me to one of the most beautiful parks in the state. I smiled at my memories of that loving afternoon until the television interrupted me. A nap finally happened after I turned to my side. The alarm woke me later and it was already time to pick up the school-goer. I thought two hours isn’t enough as I shook the dreams from my hair and headed back out into the wintry climes. The snow squalls were now pretty faded and the busies were hissing up and down the road like any normal day.
After returning, I worked on my professional résumé and saw it to completion while the school-goer colored and the fiance ate. Deep down I felt horrified at the horrible intervals of sanity. Sometimes I become uncomfortable when things are quietly smooth. I’ve been out of the former life long enough to reset but there is that one crumb of doubt that just won’t sweep away.
A while of simplicity sneaks past and it becomes time to drive the school-goer to her paternal dad. By this time, the snow has enhanced again which meant leaving 15 minutes sooner to make it to the agreed destination on time to safely pass the child over.
Just like the beginning of every snow season, a parade of fools have hit the roads. These are the life-long residents who much like myself understand the changing climates and driving difficulties that come with living in this area for a lifetime. Nothing ever changes about the difficulties from year to year; it is still the same fiasco during squalls and blizzards and the understanding that there’s likely a sheet of ice beneath the newly fallen snow. The fools are out in mass, regardless. These are the careful drivers who are too careful and often culprit to massive traffic jams and accidents. It bewilders me that they have endured the local winters yearly and have yet to learn how to navigate a motor vehicle through the season without causing traffic problems. My patience remains intact, I have precious cargo I am taxiing that is worth more than getting along in a hurry. The fools slip, slide, and cause congestion along the route, but nothing too chaotic. I arrive without incident and I am relieved. Not soon after he too arrives and in his usual angry fashion, he hurries into the parking area and slides almost into my vehicle. Once he comes to a dead halt and all is safe, I release the school-goer from my vehicle and watch her walk over to his.
Next comes the period of waiting for him to realize that I will not depart the parking lot until he does so first. On several occasions, he has followed me all over and has nearly caused a few traffic accidents while doing so. As badly as I want to record him doing just that, I will not leave first for the safety of the school-goer. She is more important than catching a stupid fool driving badly, especially on ice caked roads. He stares and I could even notice that he appeared to be talking in my direction but I listen contently to a song until he finally realizes that I am not moving. He secures the child into her seat and then proceeds on his way. Finally, I can head back home before the snow storm intensifies.
Rush hour is now in full bloom as I continue on my way. My visibility was close to zero again but thankfully the street lamps are glowing, the tail-lights are shining, and the busies are not bad as the parade of fools I earlier encountered. That is, until I reach the ga-ga town of yuppies.
The ga-ga town of yuppies is a bloated community of old money hagglers, doctors and other some such who think they are better than everyone. Commuting through their town is like swimming in a sea of feeble fools who have no regard for anyone. Most Gen-Yers drive better than this breed of fools. Nevertheless, I carefully weave through their congestion and while doing so, a familiar song comes on which makes this battleground easier to strategically maneuver. Ten minutes later, I make it past the ga-ga yuppies and carefully cruise to the home stretch.
Now its invasion of silence before my last class for the week. I am currently scanning the MurMur Box ITC system. I asked it several common questions but nothing has replied. I’m certain that nothing probably will but it doesn’t hurt to curiously continue to try. I am switching it over to the ERS Paratek ITC scanner to hear what nonsensical random words it spits out. So far I have gotten “female” “back” “years” “kitty” “belong” “really” and “entire.”
A good friend is on the phone. I enjoy him because he has a psychology background so we can compare musings and observations. On that note, I am off to yammer while watching the snow steadily fall from the night sky. It gives meaning to the lonely night.