The dog curled into a useless crescent on top of my feet as I worked, alternatively sleeping and glaring at me, as if the polar vortex was a plot I invented to keep her penned inside. I took her for two brief walks every day, each one screaming cold for me, although she didn't seem to notice the freeze. They barely counted as exercise- we went around the block once, twice at most, and to assuage my guilt once back home, I'd treat her to excessive raw hide bones. At five dollars a bag they started to add up.
That was always a pleasant few hours each afternoon, coming home with groceries and opening up a Porter or a Black Mocha Stout and starting to chop onions and celery, the radio playing in the background. Then the soup would be done, provide a good degree of satisfaction, then I'd eat it, clean up, and be back to nothing. Around dinner, I'd repeat the whole process.
I said to a friend, "I feel like my days are made of this: making little messes, cleaning up after myself, doing it again. I need school to start."
I really needed school to start. I hadn't been to school in seven years, since graduating college, with the exception of the EMT class. The idea of returning was making me fidgety, especially because I'm looking at three years of straight math and sciences.
Once there was a snow day called, and all the schools were cancelled. It wasn't really a snow day because there was no snow on the ground. It was a cold day. Due to unprecedented cold....the announcement began. It was below zero. My boyfriend got to stay home, and we played card games and drank orange liquor and whiskey out of little glasses. I hate the taste of whiskey but it seemed right for the situation. That day felt more cheerful than the others.
But they're just dreams. As much as I miss that place, I'm so desperately happy that I moved here. January is January wherever you are. My life is cranking away here, towards something tangible, it feels much closer then it ever has before. That feeling provides an overwhelming sense of relief.