They laughed and told me to enjoy the silence. It wasn’t until the snow started falling again, that I remembered how quiet without can be. Most mornings, the birdsong bursts through, but I’ve been sleeping, guilitly, late while the rest of the world gets into its commutes and car rides and cubicles. I wonder if I’m judged for not having grey walls in which to hang pictures of my best friends and I, but the thought really doesn’t concern me. Nothing much, to be honest, concerns me in the winterwhite stillness that listens and breathes and opens its arms in fine weather to sledders and cross-country skiiers and lots and lots of runners.
This isn’t apathy, it’s a lack of dirty, citywide stress.
They laughed again and said I would need a car, once I noticed the horror to moving “outside” had left their eyes. They don’t understand and definitely underestimate; I wonder how often people think that my friendliness is a form of innocence. I might not be used to the accents and the landscape, but I will trek out when the snow stops falling, hardy and wrapped up in layers because the sunshine is a drug that boosts the chemicals I can’t control inside my brain. If I didn’t feel foolish and wasn’t alone, I would have slid down the hill with the best of them, made snow angels and looked far less like than the adult that some people think me to be. But I couldn’t see around the next curve, and the swish of cross-country skis was potentially threatening, so I tried to look big and old and alert.
I know that when the grass is green again and I don’t have to wear high socks and thick boots I will go running down that huge hill, skirt flying, arms wide open.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”