It is COLD outside. The kind of cold that tastes like you have an icicle between your teeth and are breathing through it. The kind of cold that dries your eyeballs when the wind blows (“it’s a DRY cold”), chaps your cheeks, makes you wish you’d brought that scarf, too, to wrap around any remaining skin. It whistles up your pants legs, chews its way through the fabric, insinuates itself through your hat and hair.
It’s the kind of cold that makes me gasp when walking – especially as the wind grabs my face and whips it around. Everyone else is gasping, too, faces screwed up against the wind, no smiles today else teeth freeze.
Ice crystals are creeping up my windows…
Chutney, fluffy hound of great enthusiasm, has been feeling a bit down lately. His fur is long, and he finds an apartment at temperatures suitable for me a bit warm, wearying. He keeps asking to go out on the balcony to eat snow. I daren’t leave him out there since the wind is howling and might blow his little self away, so I take him out for a walk.
It’s gotta be puppy love. I can barely stand the bitter wind and him, he is jumping in and out of the snowbanks, slurping up the crystalline snow with his tongue, exploding with joy. He scoops up piles of snow with his nose, leaps in over his head and pops out, lingers as the wind rearranges his fur in sealike patterns. He snuffles for smells beneath the frost, digs, ignores the wind. He’s not even wearing his little embarrassing coat or his booties.
Around me, the walking frozen people stop, watch him, and laugh. Sudden fierce joy is so wonderful to see. They smile at me, lips pale and at risk of cracking. Then they shuffle on. Chutney doesn’t notice them. He is having way too much fun.