I have a theory that if you don’t flinch, don’t hunch your shoulders and face the cold like it doesn’t even faze you, it’s easier to put up with. Don’t let it beat you, don’t show weakness. I was operating on that theory a couple of nights ago when I was coming out of the club after a workout. It’s easier when you’ve worked up some body heat and have a good dose of endorphins going for you. Yes, I told myself, I’m a hardy Minnesotan and this -35 windchill doesn’t bother me.
I’m also a Minnesotan who’s eyesight is not what it used to be. I scanned the parking lot for my aging accord and thought I’d spotted it. I strode toward it feeling like Lief Erickson exploring Greenland. It didn’t take me long to figure out that it wasn’t my car. You know what that means. That means I’d, as usual, forgotten just where it was that I parked my car. I stood in the middle of the parking lot in that crystaline air slowly turning to scan the lot.
“Shit, it’s really cold.” No sign of it. I started walking down the row. Which SUV or giant pickup was it hiding behind. “Wow, burned a lot of calories in that workout. I’m not generating much body heat now.”
Have you ever gotten an ice cream headache from just standing outside. I’d been out for about three minutes now. “Dang, I think my eyeballs are going to freeze.”
“What if I slip and fall? I could die out here.
Shit it’s going to be embarrassing to go back into the club. I hope I don’t have to get the kid at the desk to go look for it!
Wait what’s that, that stubby tail end of an early nineties Accord Wagon. Thank you Lord.
The keys…where did I put the keys. Got to find the keys before my hands stop functioning.”
My breath was starting to form icicles on my facial hair. I was shivering.
“Shit, that’s the wrong key. Please let it start. Thatababy!!” The little four popper starts right up. A smart guy would have waited for the defrosters to clear the front and back windows, but there was a couple of inches that I could see through in front and hell, I had mirrors. Let’s get out of here.
Highway 100 looks like it could be on the dark side of the moon in weather like this.