Prompt: write about the coldest you’ve ever been…


One could take this to mean cold to someone. As a Canadian I am going to take it as freaking cold, as we often are.


You have to be cool when you are a teenager. That meant dressing in a cool jacket and not some lame winter coat. And not wearing gloves, toque and scarf. Now, I never had any fashion sense and I never had any desire to appear cool and be ‘in’. But I had this idea that I had to show indifference and strength. Thus the lack of winter attire. See how indifferent I am to the brittle, brutal winter conditions? Impressed?

There came a time I had to walk right across the small city I lived in. So I did. Enduring the minus -25C weather with windchill not factored into that. The wind was a bitter beast that day; scraping and stinging my flesh much like I imaged a sandstorm would. I was so cold I burned with it. My hands got stiff and I shoved them deep into my pockets to savor any warmth I could muster. My eyelashes kept sticking together as they frosted up.

Then came the aching numbness. I could not feel my nose. I could not feel my feet. Felt like I was fumbling along on lumps of ice. My fingertips had no sensation. But it was a numbness with a deep throbbing ache inside. I knew I was close to frostbite. If not there.

I stop to get myself warmed up. I run my hands under cold water and they burn to life again. I open and close them to get the stiffness out. My cheeks feel burned by the wind. I have these red marks under my eyes that is sore and tender. Then, as I warm up the numbness turns into redness and heat and pain.

And a little bit of frostbite on my nose and under my eyes.

Not so cool after all. Or too cool depending on how you look at it.


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