“Listen – that soft, tinkling sound – like tiny, crispy shards of glass shattering on the snow.”
“You know what it is?”
“That sound…It’s the STATIC being discharged by each snowflake because the air is so dry.”
One night, a few weeks ago, when the snow was still above my knees, I walked to the corner store to get something to drink.
On the short walk home, I became so sad that when I got to my house, I had to stop at our front steps. Something was gnawing at me.
I walked around to our backyard and stared, marveling at how alien the landscape looked, white and soft but dead. I spooked the neighbor’s dog who was out for his constitutional in his yard and he began to bark frantically. His mistress popped open the screen door and squinted at me.
“I think I startled him. I’m sorry. I was just taking a look out here.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” she said, apparently mostly sure that I was who she thought I was. I walked back to the front of the house since I figured continuing to just stand in the back yard late at night might concern her.
I turned around and looked down toward the main street and decided to lie down. The snow was high enough that I could easily sit without having to go very far. I plopped down and back and spread my arms out.
The sky was too cloudy to see the snowflakes falling from it. Instead, they appeared to materialize out of nothing a few inches above my face, narrowly dodging the steam from my nose.
I closed my eyes and listened and could hear the tinkling of the flakes crashing into one another as they landed, discharging static.
After a few minutes, I got up and went inside, back to my boys.
Perhaps I had felt it coming that night. A few days later, we got the news that the husband’s job, the one that was so perfect, the one that was going to allow us to march forward in life, had fallen through.
This little corner of mine has been quiet because I’ve been so sad. And my sadness has a way of rotting and becoming so ugly. I’ve been so nasty and doing what I can to make anyone who has the audacity to come in contact with me feel at least a little bit as bad as I do.
I know it’s not the end of the world and I know that things will get better someday. But we were right there and we were so cautious to get excited about it until we were sure that it was going to happen. And then when we were sure, or so we thought, we started making plans and getting ideas. Now we’re back where we’ve been. Static. And there’s a lot of sighing going on.