First Snow Of Winter.

There is something about the first snowfall of Winter that always gets me.

I’m usually okay up until that point, but once that powdery goodness starts sticking to cars, to trees, to trash yet to be collected – that’s when I start to feel it.

I’m sure everyone has their own ways of dealing with their innermost of innermosts. Me? Well, I obviously ain’t the kind of cat who is going to spend his time sitting through a fuck-ton of therapy to get at the heart of the matter now, am I? I always have to do things the difficult way, as if any other way would have me out here in the ether, spilling my blood like this. I just can’t, for the life of me, see me sitting my ass down on some big leather sofa and spilling all this shit out to someone with a collection of framed educational historical artifacts.

Like someone somewhere once said – “we’re all just humans, sharing the same human experience.”

My human experience is a little bit of a motherfucker. Sometimes, I think The Universe has some inkling to just out and out try and make me appear to be some poor mamaluke, some tragic Charlie Brown type of cat. I know this isn’t truly the case, but a man sometimes has his moments when he lets whatever shit the world is giving him get him down a bit. And truth be told, I am actually a pretty simple man. I’m not nearly as complicated as I might try and have anyone believe. Right from wrong. Loyalty. Discretion. Integrity. Truthfulness.


I’m sure that people misinterpret my intentions a lot of the time, considering that when the real heavy shit is going down, I’m much more apt to be a man of few words in Real Time. It might appear as though I am calculating in some way, which is actually quite true. But what I am usually calculating is damage control. I’m always trying to figure out how the smallest number of people can be truly hurt by the heavy shit. I know how much the heavy shit weighs. I know what kind of scarring it leaves behind. And I’m telling you right now – it isn’t pretty.

I know this, because I see it staring back at me, every morning, in the mirror.

I’m not standing on a motherfucking soapbox here, I’m just talking from my gut, from the heart of me.

As soon as the first snow starts to fall, it just creeps the fuck up on me. It’s like a weedy vine, squirming and arching its way up into my mind, working its way around the roots of my thoughts. Strangling every other thought. Snuffing them all out before they even get a chance to feel the warmth of the sun. It’s like the slow simmer of melody in a Mogwai song, slowly building up to a monstrous crescendo, blasting out all the light from the world with its relentless approach. My Father, My King oh-so-fittingly comes to mind here.

I cannot stop seeing the blurring of faces. Everything suddenly becomes a poorly edited version of what really went down. Voices all jumble together in my head and sound like a cacophony of jackals, feeding monstrously in a meadow. I feel my feet start to leave the ground I try so desperately to keep them on. My heart pumps boiling tears. My hands, they shake. In the tiniest portion of my mind that belongs to me and me alone – I shoot scalding hot bleach into my arteries, to rid myself of the memories.

Did I truly accomplish what I had set upon myself to do, or did I succeed in alienating everyone else? Did I protect their hearts, or did I intimidate them into submission?

Even now, the word monstrosity still rings in my head.

But that’s only half of it, you know?

The other half was my indignation, my pre-programmed righteousness.

I wasn’t going to go down the road I had been led down before. No fucking way. I wasn’t going to be pushed aside, brushed the fuck off like a gnat, like some unstable mental patient who cannot be trusted. And I most certainly wasn’t going to back down, neither. Not from anyone. I was not going to be left voiceless. Not this time.

I had no true ill will to speak of. I felt as though I was being given a Mission, a motherfucking Purpose. It felt like it was mandated from On High, another challenge put before me to work my way through. I never once hesitated in my heart, although many times my head tried to stop me.

In my heart of hearts, I was just following orders.

Even now, as the first snow falls outside of my window, I can taste that clean Santa Fe air. I remember the way the earth beneath me felt – liquid yet somehow stable, somewhat Martian. I remember the hissing sound of oxygen tanks. The smell of the morphine drops. Their tackiness on my fingertips.

The fucking Weather Channel.

Richard Pryor.

Sometimes, even in the most terrible of circumstances, we can find ourselves somehow able to bask in the glow of our own self-importance. Never in my life had I known that more than I did then, on that Mission. Late at night, sitting in the flickering glow of a television. Listening for a sign. Waiting on the inevitable. Waiting on an ascension.

The part that fucks me up, even now, is how easily I was able to let him go. I couldn’t save him – none of us could. I did all that I could to save his dignity, his honor. Irrespective of anything that went down during those last days, it was the least I could do for him.

For me, too.

You see, the rub with death is a fucked up thing. They get free, you know? They don’t have to suffer another fucking second. Everything is washed clean once they split. Every secret that gets unearthed might as well go on and get reburied. Every misdeed brought into the light should be forgotten. Every bit of it should be burned in the fire.

Us? Well, we’re kind of stuck in the afterglow, aren’t we? We get left behind here. Holding the bag, so to speak. We’re fucking stuck here, in the rightfuckingnow. Stuck with all of our unresolved childhood bullshit. Stuck with our sad-sack bags under our eyes. Stuck with our unanswered questions. Stuck with our convoluted memories. Stuck with our awkward feelings. Stuck with our otherness from one another, even though we all went down the into that dark well together.

Stuck with a hole so fucking big, even Hans Brinker couldn’t put his crooked little finger in.

And that, my friends, is a goddamn shame.

Maybe that’s what I truly need to do now, though. I can’t just throw dirt on this and hide from the real shit here. I am not wired to just hold on tightly to a memory as strong and as vivid as this. Maybe I need to stop thinking about damage control, and start thinking about actual healing.

Maybe I need to share the story, for real.

My Father. My King.

1 Comment

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One response to “First Snow Of Winter.

  1. Rob DeWalt

    Death is invisible proof that the concept of gravity has its imperfections. Grief is a heavy substance, not something measured in pounds, but more appropriately counted in hours, minutes … years. And those who think that grief can be separated from memory or time are either unaware of grief’s existence — or too blind or afraid to acknowledge it. If you and I are sometimes blind, it’s only because we’ve seen. And the closer we look, the lighter the grief gets — and the heavier heavenly bodies become, secrets and all. Love you bro.RD

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