I can feel it coming in the air of the night… Oh, Lord. Beneath the cool autumn breeze, lurking behind the sun-dappled trees in the pick-your-own apple orchard, haunting the hollow eyes of every scarecrow and jack o’ lantern, glistening on the rim of every pint of Oktoberfest, hiding in the dark recesses of the cinnamon stick in your hot cider, prowling around every corner of the corn maze… it waits. It trembles. It slavers and whimpers with dreadful impatience. Soak up these few short, kind months of mercy because they end all too soon, a finite escalator that descends into the dark and forbidding maw of– shudder– winter.
You may suffer from the delusion that winter is great. You may think it’s not so bad. You are wrong. Like a woman after childbirth, you have relegated your memories of winter to a hidden corner of your mind so that you may continue living past the horror. Be brave. Brush aside the obfuscating cobwebs comprised of fantasies of caroling, snuggling, hot chocolate, sledding and ice skating. Replace them by acknowledging the reality of grey slush. Never-ending sludge. Sand in the road, and on your shoes, sand that gets tracked into your apartment, sand that finds its way into your bed. Sand everywhere. Ice everywhere. Walking suddenly sucks, bicycling becomes perilous. People stop picking up their dog’s crap, assuming the snow covered sidewalk will swallow it (it won’t). It gets dark at 4:00 in the afternoon. By February, you’ve lost all but one glove and that one glove has a missing index finger. It’s cold, it’s oh so cold, and it’s all but endless. But the worst part isn’t the cold. The winter would be bearable if it was something you just felt on your skin and in your lungs and in the numbness of your toes. But the cold comes in many forms. It comes in wet, icy obstruction. It comes in the terrible, distorted magnification of loneliness, every dark and solitary second stretched so thin and wide it can only be measured by a Dali clock. It comes in bleak darkness. And it comes in the dingy, shadowy, grainy absence of color.
I call on all of you to raise arms against this unwelcome assault. We must not permit the greyness that waits to surround us to take its bitter, sallow pleasure in the fading joy in our hearts nor the heavy bowing of our weather-beaten heads. Rise up, O children of light! Melt the pestilential ice with heat from the ray guns of thy hearts! Raise thy righteous fists to the roiling heavens! Arm thyselves against the grim assault of grey and dazzle it to pieces, blind it with rainbows and send it fearfully whimpering into its fetid cave! Surround thyselves with an impenetrable prismatic sphere of COLOR! So Say We All!
ARE! YOU! READY?