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I am nothing. I am a single grain of sand amongst billions. I am a single voice within a crowd. I am human, I am god, I am here, and this is what I have to say:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guest Blog-Brittany Hart from Rhapsodizing Moments!

Hey, folks. As I hinted at on Friday, I might have a surprise treat in store for you all, and as it happens I do. SURPRISE! As you probably gathered from the title, Brittany Hart from the blog Rhapsodizing Moments and I just exchanged guest blogs for one another.

Brittany has been studying creative nonfiction and has posted some really wonderful pieces on her site. This exchange is particularly of note, because, without having read some of her things, and being inspired by her style, I never would have wrote my own nonfiction account of the weather like I did that you can now find on her blog.

Below is an example of her work. Brittany has a lot of great things to say so be sure to go and check out the rest of her stuff at Rhapsodizing Moments.


Fresh powder drifts lightly to the ground as I wait for the bus, staring at my feet. The flakes look so innocent and fragile, lightly attaching to the sidewalk without melting. But I know better—they aren’t innocent, and soon they won’t be fragile. They’ll melt just in time to freeze overnight, becoming the slick magicians that make my feet disappear into thin air, the traitorous sidekicks of gravity that bruise my backside.

I step on a small, untouched patch of snow in front of me to examine the intricate pattern of my footprint, but the snow turns brown and melts before I can fully appreciate my stamp on the world. I pat my foot again, this time dragging it back and forth, painting the sidewalk with lines of the nasty brown muck that seems so much more appropriate for today’s temperature.

I lift my head momentarily to examine the other people at the bus stop. Some look very serious, foreheads furrowed and mouths straight as they concentrate on some very important business that consumes their lives. Some look bored, and understandably so—patience is not a natural virtue. One girl speaks loudly into her cell phone while making large, animated gestures with her left hand as if the person on the other end of the line can see her. Two boys discuss how gross their roommate is for watching horse porn. Yeah...the world is an interesting place.

The bus arrives and I watch. The serious people make their way to the bus doors with haste, as if they fear there are only two seats left and someone pissed on one of those seats. The bored people follow at a leisurely pace, avoiding the loud, animated girl on her cell phone like oil avoids water. The two boys discussing their gross roommate must not be waiting for the bus at all, because they remain behind. I get on last, because that’s what I do sometimes.

The bus is warm, a comforting fact since I only wore two coats, a hat, a scarf, and gloves today. Regardless of the reviving heat, I still feel awkward on the bus. I’m never quite sure where to look once I sit down. Do I look ahead at the person across the aisle from me, or should I pretend that I’m texting someone so that I don’t have to meet anyone’s eyes? I settle for reading the ads above the seats, the ones I’ve practically memorized.

Getting off the bus is a scary prospect for me. Going down the steps can be treacherous, and stepping onto an ice-covered sidewalk is an entirely different ordeal. I grab the railing and count the steps. One, two, three steps and...sidewalk. My shoes stick to the pavement, solid and unmoving, and I let out a deep sigh of relief, watching my breath dance with the air in front of me.

Walks in the winter are definitely not my favorite thing in the world. It seems to take longer to get home when it’s cold outside. The worst part of walking home is the stoplights, because I have to just stand there and wait while the snow piles on my shoulders and wiggles its way into my bones. Today I cross the street as if on stilts—slow, steady, and deliberate, monitoring the each sabotaging step—and I notice that some drivers are taking a keen interest in me. One driver needs to turn right, but I’m in his way, which he makes obvious by riding my heels. He might as well roll down his window and shout, “Get out of my way, stupid girl.” I can understand why he doesn’t do this though—it’s far too cold to roll down the window. Another man turning left lets me know that I’m in his way, too. I’m just so glad that my presence is enhancing people’s lives today.

I finally get into my apartment and shed—coats, hat, scarf, gloves, shoes, and backpack. Everything wet comes off, excluding my pants. I plop on the couch and sit still, eyes closed for a few minutes. I try to relax, but it is hard. I have so much to do, and I am not at all in the mood to do it. My hands ache from the storm. I don’t have arthritis or anything, I just pop my knuckles.

My roommate Megan comes through the door a few minutes later, snowflakes covering her hair and jacket like lacework. I’m amazed at her ability to wear winter as a jeweled accessory. “Hey,” she says. “What’s up?”

“Nothing much. Just thawing.”

“Yeah, it’s cold out there,” she replies with a big grin on her face. The grin isn’t for the snow, it’s for me. She doesn’t like snow. “I’m gonna take a nap before work, okay?”

I smile back at her and nod. I wish winter would treat me as well as it did her. Neither of us like the cold, but winter definitely has favorites. My winter leaves me with crappy brown muck. Her winter adorns her with stars of pearl.

10 comments:

Connie Babe said...

Brittany, I love this one...and I can see you experiencing the joys and pains of winter.

B.J. Anderson said...

I love the imagery and the mood of the piece. I shivered just reading it! Beautiful work.

jenniferneri said...

Ahh, the bus :)
Good piece, brings me straight out of July and into winter! (not sure that's a good thing. lol)

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