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Communion in the Sky
Chilly winter air opens his mouth and breathes out life and I am forced to stuff my hands
in the pockets of my tweed coat. Winter's breath is in my hair, and whips short dark strands into
my eyes. As I try to blink them out, my eyes begin to water; I'm not sure whether it is due to the
hair in them, or the frozen air. I move the hair out of my eyes, and away from my face with my
pale, bony hand. I whisper to myself, "Christ, I've never felt so cold."
I place my glove-less hands on the sides of my face as an automatic response to the
stinging cold and rub them to create a small amount of warmth. It does help, but the warmth
fades quickly. With my hands still on my cheeks, I feel with my pinky fingers a patch of stubble.
Immediately, the care for the prickly hairs becomes replaced by the need to find warmth. I
wrap my hands around my body inside my coat to hug myself. The skin that covers my frail body
is quivering and all of my limbs are trembling inspite of Winter's vileness. My lower jaw begins
to clank against the top and it makes a ridiculous, comical sound.
I look down for a moment to see how close this building comes to touching the sky. I
pictured myself as a cartoon character, becoming so cold, I shiver uncontrollably and begin to
bounce slightly off the concrete rooftop. My body hops to the edge and I fall off this building.
Then, like the infamous Acme anvil, I make the priceless "whooshing" sound as I descend. When
I land, a crater like that from a meteor will form, along with a dark cloud of puffy smoke. In the
center of the hole, will be me, but all you can see is my head. While the rest of my body is in the
ground, a light pink lump will grow out of the side of my skull, and the dizzy animation will
rotate around my presence. My neck would wobble from side to side and my tongue would
fall out of my mouth. Then, as all good cartoons end, I will jump out of the ground, completely
unharmed. "How disappointing that would be," I thought.
My ludicrous dreams are brought to a halt by the annoying clicking of, what is obviously,
a woman's pair of high heels. Not to my surprise, across the street below me, and to the right a
few yards is a pudgy woman pacing along the sidewalk. She has thick, curling dark hair that
bounces with each fast step she takes. I notice that in her chubby hand and strapped to the side of
her plump face is a cell phone and coming out from between her two glossy red lips are
Another strong gust of evil wind comes and I close my eyes to keep them from freezing.
I rub my face again, in a frivolous attempt to warm up. Once again, it works, but fades suddenly.
The wind causes my pants leg to jump inside my shoes. Carefully, I back away from the edge, in
fear of falling off too soon. I kneel on the roof of the building, and am shocked to feel how cold
the poured concrete is. As I move the leg of my pants out from the side of my shoe, I become
distracted by the dirt on them.
I pull the sleeve of my coat over my thumb and rub the smudges from my black patent
leather shoes. Still, with scratches, and other worn areas, I can now see my blurred reflection in
the surface of the leather. My face is only that of a middle-aged man's, it surprises me to see how
elderly I look. Is it the weather making me look this way? The bags under my eyes have grown
larger, and my wrinkles are now prominent. My nose is a bright shade of red, certainly from the
cold, and my eyes are bloodshot. The hole that is my mouth is framed by chapped, broken lips,
and the irises of my eyes have turned a shocking, but all together a ugly shade of grey. My
appearance is congruent to the soles of my shoes, or the elbows of my tweed coat; worn thin.
I look away from my repulsive reflection and step forwards again so that I am on the edge
of the building, I see the full-figured, red-mouthed woman standing directly below me. She must
have crossed at the stop light just down the street a few moments ago. Now she is positioned
awkwardly, shivering from the chilly air, still with the phone in her hand. I can barely hear her,
but I know she says quite hastily into the receiver, "This Winter. It's going to kill me."
I watch her as she fumbles through her purse with the phone settled between her ear and
the top of her shoulder. She pulls out a tissue to blow her nose, and dropping the cell phone in
the process. In frustration she bends down to pick it up and the used tissue flies away from her
hands. She sighs and composes herself then stands up again. She pulls her hands down her body
to straighten her clothing out and begins to walk away.
The clicking of her heels starts up again, and I listen to them fade off into the distance. I
do this while examining the colors of this unusually quite street. Winter causes everything to turn
marvelous shade of blue with everything outlined in dark greys and objects seem to have more
clarity. Sharpness and contrast is so appealing. The building across this lonely street has crisp
corners and I can see my tiny reflection in the windows. There are no details, only a grey mass.
Frigid air passes by me and my eye lids shut naturally. I rub the wind from my face.
When I open them again, I see the woman that was once a few feet away from me, but stories
below me, is now barely recognizable. All I can see are two colors: tan, from her long, flowing
coat and dark brown from her hair. The clicking of her shoes has been muted and she is
swallowed by a mass of people. Her existence is no longer apparent to me.
I decide this bitter weather is no longer bearable. Mocking the dark haired woman, I
smooth my button up shirt and pants with a motion of my hands. I remember the bizarre scene I
conjured in my mind of my cartoon self skidding off the side of the tall building from the
convulsions due to the cold. This made me smile. The chattering of my teeth has not ceased, I
notice. After this observation, Winter whispers in my ear things I can not ignore. He is
provoking me and I listen. Obediently, I place my hands gently in my pockets, still with a grin
plastered across my frozen cheek bones, and lean forward.
I feel my feet leave the brick wall I was once standing on and the wind whip through my
gritted teeth. The comical image comes back to mind as I zoom through the air as fast as gravity
will allow me to. I push the thought aside and concentrate on free falling. It's impossible to move
my arms out to my side, so I have no other option but to keep them shoved in my coat pockets.
My eyes stay closed, but not by choice. All I see is darkness. All I hear is the icy air whirling past
me. My lips are cracked and my skin is burning, but all I can truly feel is ecstasy.