I haven’t been outside in hours, but I can sense the frigid, black night even from the warmth of my bed. Piles of blankets. From the large television steadied on the old broken dresser, a fake fireplace glows and pops on the flat screen. I wonder what the pioneers would’ve said if they could see me now- a fake fire, no effort, no warmth. Feeling sad, comfy in bed- at least eight pillows, lounging loyal dog, fake fireplace which illuminates with the click of a button. Automated heat which is the only sound in the house except for the ever-sleeping hound dog.
At least I’ve managed to pay the bills, it seems.
It is Christmas Eve again- always again- twenty-thirteen. I am twenty-eight years old. When it’s this cold, the windchill dipping far below zero, my bones ache and my thighs swell before my eyes as I stare at my reflection in the mirror. Child rearing hips, no. I am still tiny. Anais Nin’s mother told her once, “bones are for dogs.” I am better with dogs anyway.
Outside, there is a hardened, refrozen layer of snow covering the ground. The flickering lights which change color back and forth, back and forth, which hang from my little house’s front porch twinkle beyond the torn curtain of my bedroom window. Far off and then closer, a wailing of several emergency vehicles scream out against the silence and bitterly cold night. Across all the yards between here and the sighing highway, dogs are barking loud and echoing. I think they must be talking to each other. My dog, however, still does not move, as is customary for him. He causes a fuss when it is convenient for him, like most men I have known. Lucky for him, he is far sweeter than most of them ever were, and far more loyal.
I am waiting for my owl, though. I hear him at night sometimes- the late nights, when sleep won’t find me and I wind up doing things like gluing pieces of paper to other pieces of paper all night for hours, calling it ‘art.’