The earth has frozen itself to a halt. The wheel of the world croaked to a dead stop. And all we can do is shelter in place and hope to wake up tomorrow. It’s not just the frigid temperatures our powerless homes reach. It’s not just the shut off of water and gas. It’s not just the fleeing of our homes in the dead of night on ice caked roads in hope of safety and solitude. No, it’s something else.
Because some of us left a piece of ourselves somewhere else. It’s the heartbreaking decisions made in warm cars on dark nights. To stay behind in an act of love. It’s falling asleep on a starless night as the inside temperatures approach 40° because our bodies know the end is nigh. It’s head lights that pierce the darkness so entirely. It’s layers of bad news that separate us from something close by, but eternally far away.
I wish to hold all that I care about close. And Everyone else around me has everyone else they need. But although you’re mere miles away, you’re on the other side of the world to me.
No, it’s not just a day crumbling in my hands. It’s not just hypothermia nipping at my stagnant body. It’s not just the profound and animal exuberance of a near miss rescue. It’s not just the decaying of each day that gets eroded by ice. It’s the heart outside of the body, moving around the world in a vaguely familiar way, braving the same forces that I nearly succumb to. It’s this feeling that something is wrong outside the obvious.
Here I find myself, in a disaster situation inside a global pandemic, as the world around me shutters and stalls under the sheer will of the lives it’s disrupted. And no matter how much snow falls from the sky or ice coats the ground, my body point towards you instinctually, like a compass rose, wherever you are in the world. I think it might find you anywhere, come Hell or high water.