1.29.2008

it starts in my toes...

I just got back from supper where I had a nice steaming bowl of noodles on which I piled some broccoli I steamed in the [needs to be cleaned desperately] microwave. After cleaning my tray I grabbed my coat...

and my gloves
and my scarf
and my ear warmer

and I bundled and I bundled and I bundled until I could barely move [you know, to the point that you are so entirely bundled that in order to turn your head you have to move your entire torso?]. I pushed open the first door to be greeted with cold air.

I was still in the entry way.

I pushed open the second door and my feet instantly went numb and it had begun...I now had to barrel my way to the other side of campus to make it back to the safety and warmth of my apartment. I picked up my pace to notice the nice, hidden- jump- at- you-from-behind patches of ice. I slowed to a mere 0.3 mph to ensure that I didn't fall, unable to decide if falling on the hard sheet of frozen doom would be worse than walking slow enough to be safe that I didn't. Option A only leaves me with bruises, maybe a broken bone. Option B leaves me with first degree frost-bite and the inability to function as a human being for a solid hour until I am thawed. I remembered my professor's wife who shattered her leg not too long ago on the ice and, 90% certain I am making the wrong decision, walk a mind-numbingly slow pace.

Gusts of artic winds almost knock me down anyway. I'm trying to decide what the temperature is but then I realize that the cold is creeping up my body and so I try to trick myself. Hawaii. Soup. Campfire.

Not working. My eyes begin to water but the liquid in the corners of my eyes freeze instantly at their first taste of Iowa. My nose has ceased dripping as its hairs are forever frozen to my nostrils. I say hello to a fellow treker and the cold enters my mouth and I instantly feel every single tooth. Pain.

I can now see the lights of my building and when I pick up my pace I remember the wife and the shattered leg and I slow, but by this point I am certain that my blood as slowed to the flow of molasses. I remember a friend in Missouri telling me it is cold there and I laugh.

I am so close now. My hands have lost the capacity to function and I'm pretty sure my nose is somewhere in the snowdrift 20 feet back. Finally I reach the door and it opens and I am greeted with warm air and I stand inside my apartment and I don't remove anything for at least 10 minutes. And then slowly

slowly

I take off my gloves. 1....2....3.......9....10. Good. All my fingers are still there [but I'm not even going to look at my feet because I know there has to be damage down there].

I take off my ear warmers. Good thing I don't have big earlobes or I'm sure I would be mourning their loss.

I unzip my coat and consider suing the company that made it.

20 minutes later I remove my scarf.

Whew. I survived. It takes me about 3 minutes to walk from the caf to my place, but I'm sure someday those 3 minutes are all it will take to kill me.

When I was finally warm my roommate walked in--- her face as red as can be and all I could see were her eyes and nose. She yells something about it being -25 outside so we check weather.com:

Actual temperature: -1
w/ wind chill feels like: -25

Why did I ever go to school in Iowa?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The cold is intoxicating!

Roberta said...

This cracked me up, because I new INSTANTLY you were talking about NW Iowa. :) I remember those days and my "favorite" one to remember is when I felt like I had just hiked through Antarctica to get to class and when I finally got their, there was a note on the door telling us that our Prof couldn't make it because of the weather! :) Nice.

Kali said...

This is absolutely perfect. That's all I can say.