From Saturday to Tuesday we were landlocked inside the walls of stately Hubner Manor with too few beers, not enough flour, not much milk, but plenty of love and a stockpile of laughter. Despite it all, it was yet another extremely long short week.
I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced cold weather like we’ve endured the last few days. It’s that kind of cold that causes the hair in your nostrils to freeze and momentarily tickle the inside of your nose. Only momentarily, for once your mind registers that “hey, that sorta tickles and feels funny”, you realize that your brain is beginning to freeze and your nostrils are shutting in on themselves. It’s as if someone punctured your space helmet on a moon walk. Not that I know how a moonwalk disaster would go, but I can speculate. I can imagine it would put my extremely long short week to shame.
When you’re holed up in your home for four days straight you really start to notice all the imperfections in your walls. I mean, I knew my walls were pretty messed up to begin with, but when you’re in your house staring at them for long periods of time you start to really see every smudge, dent, scratch, and chipped piece of plaster. Come spring we’ll do something about that. Maybe during a not so short, but relatively long week.
Getting back to those temps, it’s not easy on the family dog either. Poor guy struggles to find a spot to do his business amongst the Arctic landscape, never finding his previous spots of relief due to the foot of snow covering them. Within three minutes, he’s running on three legs as his back paw is beginning to freeze. My wife had to go out back and grab him a couple times as he couldn’t hobble the remaining twenty feet to the back door. Tuesday morning I walked him out front. He felt like taking a stroll so we began walking down the road. When I’d decided we needed to head back home(due to my skull caving in on itself from Jack Frost’s roundhouse kick to my sinuses)he decided I needed to carry him. I was happy to oblige. It’s been an extremely long short week for our dog as well.
I’ve felt like this cold has somehow gotten into my head and can’t find a way to escape. Like this mini-cloud of a polar vortex roaming my cranial cavity. A dark grey arctic blast circling my brain; ramming its jagged icicles into my frontal lobe and making it’s way around to my brain stem. It’s this weird pressure behind my eyes that just won’t leave. It gives me this hoarse, nearly breaking voice at times. Like some long, gestating cry waiting to come out. A side effect of an extremely long short week.
Last night after I don’t know how many hours of the DVD player, then the Roku, blasting pixelated entertainment and ass numbing stagnancy in my kids, I turned off the TV and put on a record. I popped popcorn and the kids got their bowls and they sat(I laid)on the floor in the living room and just listened. They munched and I waxed ecstatic about Steve Reich and his composition “Come out”. The noise of Hollywood idiocy and bullshit machismo was replaced by a pulsating, sanity-restoring music. A lull of woodwind wisps, hammered piano strings, and phased chorale voice. As I laid there talking and my kids looking at me like I was silly old dad, I felt that mini-polar vortex begin to leave my head. The pressure behind my eyes subsided and the icicles embedded in my cranial cavity melted. The kids munched, I rambled, and the record played.
For the first time in a few days the walls in stately Hubner Manor looked just fine to me. Every dent, smudge, and crack a welcome sight. Every fingerprint ever put on those walls by greasy popcorn hands a beacon of living. They’re signs of contentment. They’re signs of happiness. They’re signs of life being lived. I’m okay with that.
This extremely long short week isn’t over, but I’ll get through it. I’ll get through it for those smudges, dents, scratches, and cracks.