Most sincerely I didn't feel like going to work this morning.
So when I heard a tapping at my bedroom window at about 4AM, I had no desire to peel myself from beneath the covers and investigate. But having grown up in a New York where break-ins were a not-so-rare occurrence, in a haze of early morning tired, I shuffled over to the plate-glass and lifted up the heavy shade.
There in the courtyard below my bedroom window, amid the Great Global Warming Blizzard of 2017 (it was 65-degrees yesterday) were two Wooly Mammoths who had somehow escaped oblivion, giant meteors and ravenous Inuit and amidst the two-foot-high drifts of still-falling snow had taken up residence behind my apartment house.
Their long ivory tusks were scratching against my window, as if they were asking to be let in against the ravages of the storm outside.
My wife, solicitous as always, brewed them each a mugful of English Breakfast tea, which despite its temperature, they gulped down in one long slurp, burning their Mammoth tongues along the way and dashing my wife's Wedgwood against the backyard bricks, to her dismay and consternation.
I tripped to the kitchen and grabbed my own cuppa and went to check my email--hoping the office would, on a day that is surely the end of the world, be closed.
There, at the top of my email box was an email from the CSEO--the Chief Snow Emergency Officer--telling us that the office was NOT closed, despite New York schools being closed and people on Long Island and in New Jersey convinced that the end is nigh.
I got in an SUV with a driver who had just emigrated from South America and drove like he had never seen snow before. He wasn't versed in using his window defrosters and he squinted through the front windows like an old perv at a 1960s 25-cent peep show.
Some years ago when the world was somewhat cooler, New York got truly cold winters. It was not unusual when I was a kid or in college for temperatures to be in the teens and low twenties for weeks at a time.
I lived on the far west side back in my college days, on a campus within spitting distance of the great Hudson River. I remember when two kids robbed a bodega on 107th and Broadway and ran toward the iced-over river to New Jersey to escape the fuzz, only to fall in halfway to Hackensack.
No more do we get ice on our rivers in New York. No one would ever fathom ever again running to New Jersey for any reason.
Instead, we have our own fresh hell. A KKK supporting racist Attorney General and an anti-education Secretary of Education and who knows what other horrors await us, leading surely, not to revolt, but instead, and tragically, to other worser horrors, like Germany after the Reichstag burned.
But for now, I am safe and dry and quietly alone in my office, typing this.
That's right, writing against the chill.