Dammit it’s cold. And where the hell is he?
He had been standing at the street corner for who knows how long. How long?
He shifted and felt a chill run through his jacket.
A jacket. Not a coat. He needed a coat tonight.
Shifting about always causes you to feel the chill. That aggravating chill that served to remind him that he should have been here by now.
Of course movement causes your blood to flow better. And that’s what keeps you warm. It’s the circulation. Or so he had been told. Or so he had learned. Or so he had been told. Does it even matter? These are stupid thoughts.
The point is that he’s running late. And it’s cold. It’s a cold night.
A short, deliberate, but strong exhale.
He did it again. Only softer this time.
He exhaled the first time to let his breath go. He exhaled the second time just to watch the warm air that left his mouth form a vaporous white cloud.
Like a cigarette, he thought to himself.
He laughed without actually laughing: He didn’t smoke.
Where in the hell is he?
He checked his watch again. Or maybe he didn’t have a watch.
It was so dark.
It was a typical night on this street corner. Or so it seemed. He didn’t really know this street corner. It was familiar, but he had never been there.
He glanced upward at the street light on the corner.
It was so dark. Just the street light and him. And some occasional, nameless and faceless faces. Bustling by to get somewhere worthwhile. To get somewhere warm. Not so cold. To get somewhere, anyway.
He shifted and shrugged his shoulders and felt that aggravating chill again. So cold. He shifted again and let out some kind of a noise. A growl? Whatever it was it made him feel warmer.
So late. Where was he? What was he doing?
Why was he late? Didn’t he know that he was waiting?
Doesn’t he know how cold I am? It’s almost more than I can stand.
Two quick breaths. White vaporous clouds. They quickly vanish.
They provided that least bit of entertainment.
Vaporous clouds vanish as quickly as they appear. A moment of glory. A moment of pleasure. And then gone.
He let a long, slow breath escape from his mouth. He did it just to watch the clouds.
It looked like a cigarette. He wanted a cigarette.
He laughed again without actually laughing.
He didn’t smoke. Never had.
When he was a kid he pretended that his warm exhale on a cold day was cigarette smoke. But he wasn’t allowed to smoke. So, he always felt this little bit of guilt for having smoked. But he didn’t smoke – he was only pretending. Why pretending? Yes, probably pretending to smoke because he knew he wasn’t allowed – that’s what gave him the kick. It was fun to pretend to smoke when you knew you weren’t allowed. Besides, it was fun to watch the cloud.
Where the hell is he? He should have been there by now. It’s not polite to keep someone waiting at a street corner this long.
He should really get going. But he didn’t have anywhere to go.
So damn cold. He really wasn’t dressed for this. If he had only worn something a little heavier.
Another layer. A heavier shirt.
His legs were cold, too. Jeans really didn’t keep you all that warm. Not really.
And his toes were freezing. He had to keep them moving. They were feeling a little bit stiff.
Had to keep the blood circulating. Circulating to keep me warm. It’s uncomfortable and cold.
He should really get going. But he didn’t.
To get going you need somewhere to go. But he didn’t have anywhere to go. This is what he was supposed to do. Wait for him.
So, he waited.
But it was cold. He glanced upwards. At the light above. It was kind of hazy and cloudy looking.
All of a sudden he blinked. And then blinked again. And then just as quickly he closed his eyes and pressed them together.
He felt the moisture that had built up on his eyelashes.
He kept blinking and pressing his eyes together. He was aggravated. Where the hell was he?
At the same time it was something to do. It was a cool and invigorating feeling.
His eyes were tired and sore. The wet stuff that had accumulated on his eyelashes suddenly brought him out of his sleepy, zombie state and made him feel just a bit more awake.
Why was he late?
Was he usually late? He really didn’t seem to remember.
Was it like him to be late? He really couldn’t remember that, either.
No matter. It was important to keep the blood circulating. Important to keep moving about every once in a while. It’s not good for the toes, especially. To let them get so cold and stiff.
And so he felt that chill run down his body again. It seemed like the whole dark night was pressing in on him. The cold winter air pressing against his inner being with no regard for those few layers of clothing he had on. Those few layers that really weren’t thick enough for a cold night like this.
There it was, again. A breath. That vaporous cloud. Here and then gone.
A little bit of moisture left on his eyelashes. Helped wake him up.
Gotta keep moving around to make sure the blood was circulated.
The light overhead was cloudy and kind of hazy.
Where the hell was he?
He really ought to be more considerate. How long had he been out here waiting? It had to have been for some time know. Hours? Or not. Not really sure.
Another breath. Vapor cloud.
I’m sure he will be here soon. But then again he may not be.
Maybe he should get moving. Of course, he could be here anytime now.
In any case it’s important to keep moving. Blood circulation.
Was he usually late? Think. What is his track record? Does he even care about time?
It’s so frustrating.
He felt a bit of panic. Just for a millisecond.
And then he shook his head and breathed.
He felt his heart beating faster. That’s not good – for the heart to beat faster. The cold air isn’t good for the heart. His heart was good, though. So, it wasn’t so bad. But it’s just not good on the heart. Being out in the cold air for so long. How long?
Ok, think. He always shows up. Doesn’t he? Even if he might be late. Or does he?
Shake the head. Clear the mind. Take a breath.
Vapor cloud again.
Again. He usually isn’t late. Or is he? But he will show up.
What time is it?
Keep moving. Circulation.
It is irresponsible to be so late. But even so, it is important to shift around ever so often. Even if it is chilly and cold.
Shrug the shoulders. Shift the legs. Flex the muscles in the body. It was cold, but it had to be done. You have to try to keep yourself as warm as possible while you are waiting. Especially when you aren’t well prepared.
Dammit. Why didn’t he wear a thick sweatshirt. Maybe a cotton tee shirt and another long tee shirt and then a heavy sweatshirt. That would have been good. And then the heavy coat. The winter coat that always kept him warm. Hhhmmm. For some reason he couldn’t remember which coat he had in mind. No matter. For the time being he was cold.
There weren’t many people out at this time of night. Or were there any? No matter.
Had he forgot about my hands?
He had been moving those too. Kind of without really thinking about it.
The hands are just like the toes. Got to keep moving them. Circulating the blood. That’s what keeps you warm. On a dark night when it is cold. And you have to wait.
What if he doesn’t come?
That thought was accompanied by that ever so slight moment of panic. It was so late. Wasn’t it?
He should really check his watch to see what time it is? Maybe he should get moving. Get going. Leave.
Nowhere to go. Better to wait. That’s what he was here for.
Was it like him to make people wait like this? In the cold, no less?
He was starring below at the pavement. At the place where the street met the sidewalk. The curb.
That’s when he stopped short and his mind was attentive on this one thought.
The thought occurred to him suddenly and made him feel panicky.
He starred intently ahead, and had to wait for a moment as the thought sunk in.
He felt his heart beating.
He felt all of his other thoughts stop as this one revelation occurred to him.
It made him scared.
He looked about, but didn’t look at anything in particular.
He looked this way and that. Flashing glances.
He was definitely scared by the thought.
This is not good. It isn’t good at all.
Who was he waiting on?
Who was he waiting for?
What was his name?
Dammit. Wake up and think. What is his name?
Who the hell was he?
He covered his face with his hands and blew warm air into them warming his hands and face.
It felt good.
He stuffed his hands back in his pockets.
Keep the hands moving. Feet and toes, too.
Keep the blood circulating.
He took a breath and watched the vapor appear and then disappear so suddenly.
He took another breath just to watch it again.
He paused. Calm again.
It was like when he was a kid. He kind of smiled as he thought about it.
It looked like cigarette smoke.
A LOVE SUPREME
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Dammit it’s cold. And where the hell is he?