Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is There Winter in Hell?

Last winter during the long, dark, cold Northeastern winter that is about to rear its ugly head yet again,  I remember making myself leave the house to venture off into the frostbitten air to walk down the street and grab a cup of coffee, some fresh air, and humanly interactions with the fine folks at my favorite coffee joint.  On my way to Dunkin Donuts a homeless man says to me "Hey, nice hat!"  It was the first conversation I had had in weeks (besides Trevor) and I remember feeling a spark of excitement like "Hey someones talking to me!  This is a great way to meet people, all I have to do is leave the house and people will talk to me!" Then I remembered thinking...this man is homeless.  He is not exactly new-best-friend material.  And he likes my hat...now what does that say about my fashion sense? ...  I am never leaving the house again.

It was a rough winter.  At the end of the winter I visited Brooklyn to see my Uncle who is a Roman Catholic priest.   He had had a bad winter too.  In the aftermath of one of our weekly snow storms, he slipped on the ice and tore all sorts of things in his knee which required major surgery, casting, and crutches.

A month or two later he is healing, but not 100% walking yet.  Springtime has arrived and my Uncle is hosting a party for my Grandma's 91st birthday.  The whole family is hanging out around his apartment when we decide we should go for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the lovely weather.  Because he still cannot walk very far, we rent my uncle a wheel chair from the local pharmacy around the corner.  Big, strong, coordinated me offers to push him first.  We cautiously make our way through the awfully uneven sidewalks of Cobble Hill.  I was pretty nervous (like usual) and attentive at first, but about a block or two into it I started picking up my confidence and we start picking up speed.  I enjoy my new found strength, fearlessness, and pride for about 10 more feet... Right as I am thinking about how all the people passing us on the streets must think I am such a saint for helping this poor, injured priest, we hit the mother load of all cracks.

As the front wheels hit the six inch divot in the sidewalk at cruising speed, we abruptly stop dead in our tracks.  I nearly throw my wounded uncle out of the wheel chair from behind.  My poor, Catholic priest uncle gasps in pain and grabs at his knee as I responsibly hold back from screaming  "oh sh*t" or  "what the f@%#" or "holy cr@p."  I mentally remind myself not to cuss using the word "holy" in front of a priest as I move on to my next line of exclamation words which I deem safe and appropriate and cannot help from blurting out a big ol'  "Jeeezus Christ!!!"

Before I even finish pronouncing the "t" in "Christ,"  I remember who I am talking to (doh!) and follow up with a sincere "Oh my God!  I am so sorry!"  (double doh!)

I am going to hell.  At least the winter will be warmer...


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