The season that cannot end, until something new begins.


In the winter, we like to look out of the window and see snow, pure and white, making our experience of deadly cold air meaningful. If it must be cold, could we at least have snow? If I must shiver, might I at least look good in wool and argyle? If I must live in hell, I'll look for anything to convince me I'm alive. But in the winter, I'm not sure I am.

Once the purity of the snow is marred with mud and canine urine, we move about, wishing the end would come soon. The end that we describe every year as a new beginning. A time when we have things to look forward to. When our bodies go from soft to less so. When our nights become further apart. When we could finally tolerate our surroundings and drop at least some layers of armor designed to protect us from the snow we said we wanted, but once it was there, we regretted it.

Winter brings with it a host of things we desire, but each is such a thing that dissipates almost as quickly as our love of mulled wine and other terrible things disguised as festive that happen to be a ruse designed to placate us and distract us from the misery of the cold. It is meant to convince us winter is something other than a bad dream that starts out glistening before the miscreant comes out to snipe us. There are devils out there. The cold burns everlong like the ink stains Bob Cratchit’s fingers. If we make it out alive, we’ll need a month of Summer just to recover.

When winter becomes the only thing that we have left of life, after Christmas is past, lights have been taken down, and suicide rates are no longer statistical but a feature of the season, that's when we realize...