Or a car.
That’s what happens to me this week. I stop at the parking lot and run into the post office to buy some stamps.
I race back to my car. The thermometer reads 22 degrees, but with the wind chill, the meteorologist reports that it feels like 5.
The cold snap snaps me back to the winter I cross-country skied with my friend’s husband in Minnesota.
S. was smart enough to be pregnant during the winter, so on my weekend visit with her from sunny comparatively warmer California, she thought it quite clever to dress me up in her ski clothes and send me away for the morning with her befuddled husband.
I knew she just wanted some time to herself. T. hovered over his wife like she was a finicky laptop, needing to be stroked often to make sure it/she was still in good working order.
The cold was as sharp as a snake bite.
Within minutes we rented the skis and began the loop. Within four minutes my fingers were so cold I had to pull off my gloves and blow on them.
Tears streamed down my face. Not from distress, although I was extremely unhappy. My eyes water anytime the temps reach 30 or below.
T. cluelessly skied on. I didn’t want to be a wimp. I wanted to be a good friend and give S. her morning of blissful aloneness.
So I skied on. Until I could no longer hold onto the ski poles, because I no longer felt them.
Begrudgingly, T. led us back to the clubhouse. I ran into the bathroom and poured cold water over my white-as-death fingers, screaming in pain.
Frostbite stings as sharply as a thousand wasp bites.
And now, here I am sitting in the park lot, blowing on my fingers to bring them back to life. Once frostbitten, fingers numb up quickly.
I pull my gloves back on, the ones with fleece inside, check my rear and side view mirrors and turn my head to the rear before backing out slowly.
In less than a blink of an eye, I check the mirror again, which is filled with the view of the passenger side of a black car.
A woman jumps out of her car yelling, “You hit my car!”
Not possible, I think. I’m always so careful when I look behind me – in my car, as well as in my past.
But those memories, and black cars, can still race up from behind and hit us as fast as frost bite.
Thanks to Google Images.