I ventured out into the cold abyss today, my eyes lethargic, stinging from the relentless grip of allergies. The dog’s chain clinked against his collar, echoing like a sinister omen in the frigid night. Shadows, those distorted and enigmatic forms, spun my head into a dizzying frenzy. Their eerie, rigid nature unsettled me.
Then, it hit me—the unmistakable scent of the season, that melancholic “time of the year” aroma. It seeped into my very soul, weaving an intricate tapestry of emotions. There’s something timeless about chimneys, a quaint nostalgia harkening back to old Christmas books with Santa’s oil-drawn, bushy beard and rosy cheeks. The snowy scenes illuminated in red and green paint the backdrop of December’s icy tundra.
Entering from the biting cold into a warm cocoon, cocooned in cozy fabrics and cotton bedsheets, there’s an indescribable perfection in it all. Even the air itself seems to resonate with a unique cadence. Passing cars on the street outside sound different, perhaps because the air is colder, the rubber against pavement echoing a somber tune. It’s simply the season—the cold, the darkness, the tiny, icy gusts nipping at my face.
My sinuses, congested and oppressive, amplify the sound of my every breath, grounding me to the earth’s reality. Vulnerability courses through me, urging me to seek shelter. The vivid mental images that gradually materialize are ones I wish to share with humanity because, in these moments, everything feels impeccably perfect.
Yet, these images remain untouched by cinema, literature, or any medium. I yearn to be the first to recreate them, but my words fall short. It’s an intoxicating, leafy, perfect, and mesmerizing scent. When I say “intoxicating,” I mean it—every sense converges to form an integral part of my psyche.
To the outside world, I may appear as a mere bystander walking a dog, but no one could fathom the profound bliss enveloping me. I long to walk through snow, thick and crunching underfoot, seeping into my socks just enough to discomfort me, only to melt away as I seal my boot.
Returning home to a roaring fire and tightly sealed windows to keep out the howling wind, I’d set the record player spinning and hum along. It’d be a peaceful scene, but one brimming with life. An overlooked jigsaw puzzle would become the epicenter of attention, as friends and family engaged in playful banter, their hands darting in and out, trying to fit the stubborn pieces.
After I cracked a joke that elicited hearty laughter from everyone, I’d lean back with a puzzle piece in hand. The scent would wash over me once more, evoking an aromatic high. In those moments, the world slowed down around me, the crackling of the chimney intensified, and a grin erupted on my face.
Then, as if on cue, everything resumed its regular pace. Laughter continued without distortion, while I cracked my toes hidden within thick woolen socks, my actions drowned out by the roaring fire and the merriment of the gathering. It felt so good that, if bad news were to strike, I believed we could conquer it together.
Stepping out onto the porch, it was no longer 2014; it felt like a distant era, a snapshot from the 1950s. The illusion was shattered by a Land Rover pulling up; a scarf shielded my lengthy neck from the biting cold, a neck I had always despised for its sensitivity to the chill. Scarves seemed tailor-made for me, bringing an odd comfort.
Someone coughed, and I offered them a piece of chocolate to ease their discomfort. I understood the misery of feeling unwell amidst a joyful gathering. Perhaps I should make hot chocolate for everyone, complete with marshmallows, and maybe a bit of wine for those feeling more adventurous. In this moment, happiness should reign supreme.
I took a small sip, the liquid brushing against the brim of my lips. My eyes no longer burned, and my allergies had seemingly retreated. How much more of this ecstasy could I endure?