Jan. 30th, 2010

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The first thing you learn when you move to the midwest is how to drive in the winter. The roads get bad there, they tell you. Slick as an ice rink on a rainy day. There'll come a time when you need to get through it. To make that appointment, to get to work, to drop the kids off. They don't close the schools here too often.

So you learn where to buy your snow tires and you learn to change gears. You learn to carry cat litter in your car, to sprinkle under the tires when your car won't budge. And against all your better judgement, you learn to turn into the slide. Let it take you. If you try to fight it, a simple skid will put you into a spin-out. Land in the ditch, or worse. Remember the rules. And never, ever panic.

This winter's a real killer, they say. The plows can't keep up. It all just blows back onto the highway. Just moved here this summer? There's some ugly luck. Don't worry, though. The first one's always the worst one.

When they finally close the roads, you live in a glass-domed snow globe. A cute little village house nestled in drifts of frost-capped pines. The swirl of plastic snow bits, sloshed about by an angry god or maybe just a slightly bored child. Nobody's getting out for a while.

You turn on your porch lamp and the string of Christmas lights you've still not taken down. They blush like halos in the white-out conditions, the only lights for miles. You can't go anywhere. There's no cars on the roads. Only snow and the deer with their nervous, graceful step.

The only channels you can get show reruns and old movies. Clint Eastwood on one channel, earthquakes and wildfires and tsunamis on the other. Eventually, even the phone goes out. You could be the last somebody on earth. And, as far as being the last member of a dying species is concerned, this is absolutely dead boring.

You remember something you heard once, about how the earth is like the baby bear's porridge in Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold. Just right. For life, for humans, for art and science and knowledge and breath. A tiniest click of the thermostat either way will send us all into peril. Earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis.

"Some say the world will end in ice."

You look out the frozen windows of your snow-globe home and remember the punch-line to the joke.

"But nobody told me it would be this week."

(My fantabulous partner for this week was [livejournal.com profile] pixie117. You can read her post right here! And since this is a current events topic, well..XD. I live in the frozen north. This week has been in the negatives and single digits most of the week. And they really do close the roads if it gets too bad! See this article for proof!)


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