I sat ensconced in warmth, munching salted chips, thinking the world looks cold. People pass by, bundled, trying to keep the icy air at bay. The police officer writing tickets for the parking meters looks like Ralphie’s brother from A Christmas Story. Her arms are stiff from all the fluffy padding of her winter attire. The homeless man with all his earthly possessions, wheeling behind him, is moving tirelessly. He pauses for only a few moments to rest before moving off, around the corner out of my sight. I hope he finds somewhere warm and safe to pass the rest of the day, out of the biting cold. College kids hurry past, heads down racing to the next building on campus before they freeze.
The music is too loud here, so my mind blocks out all the noise and I focus outside where the sound is released to collide with other sounds. The conversations echo off one another. I am trying to focus on the conversation with my friend but between bites of food and my brain shutting out all the noise, it is difficult.
The gentle sloping roof of the building next door makes me wonder why all buildings are not built with curves. The roof line looks elegant. Plus with the recent snowstorm the weight of the snow slid gracefully off the roof to pile on the grass below. The huge art in the grassy area near the curved roof structure is still covered with snow. The snow adds to the towering monolith, making it seem more robust.
“What do you want to do today?”
I think he asked it twice. My mind slowly starts firing on ideas. I smile at him, “Let’s get out of here.” I say. “Road trip?” He smiles back. One of our favorite pastimes. He is always up for one of my ‘I-have-no-idea’ kind of ideas. We bundle up to leave the noise and the picture window behind.
The muffled sounds of the city are a welcome relief for me. Gone is the blaring music, the cacophony of voices and the racket of a kitchen. We parked close, to avoid the prolonged cold. He drives. I drive like a bat out of hell, so his slower more relaxed style is better for us on these drives. We head west out-of-town to no where in particular. I snap pictures as we drive. I have a general destination in mind but no exact direction is necessary. I love to just be away, even if it is for just a few hours. I work on a project, we talk, we absorb the world around us as it flies past us outside the windows.
The rolling hills go on and on. We pass a cemetery that has a historic marker posted by it’s entrance. We pass through small towns that have fur trader businesses, where stacks of furs are covered in snow waiting to be cured and made into…something. Every town we visit has at least one church and one bar. What an interesting combination.