I have allowed the preternatural cold air lingering in South Florida to imprison me in my domicile. Eliminating from me that pristine time before cars and small mammals roam the roads and the colorful appearance of the sun to greet me.
Finally, like a favorite Dr. Who episode, I proclaimed, “No More!”
So it was, on that chill March morning (temps still in the low-to-mid-60’s…egads!), that I threw off my bonds and ventured forth unto the not-particularly frozen tundra outside.
I girded myself in full preparation of the pre-dawn temperatures. But then a thought, a terrible, horrible thought came to me…
What if, as often happens in my tropical paradise, a bank of clouds lay established over the ocean, occluding those life-renewing rays of the sun? What if I were to face my entire 5-mile, 80 minute walk without that beloved warmth? What if I were to be subjected to an entire walk in the cold without abatement?
What then, pookie?
I threw an undershirt under a long-sleeve shirt and ventured into the darkness. This was a dangerous gambit, for South Florida is ever whimsical in its playfulness with its temperatures, but I felt the laws of thermodynamics were on my side.
And so was I proven right. Verily, do I say that challenges of an almost inhuman nature awaited me. For nature it was.
First of the great forces allayed against me was Fog. Let me tell you about Fog.
For a moment, let your mind drift to pictures of those late summer football games where the benches are nearly obscured from the vast mists of fake fog sprayed to cool the players. Then, perhaps, if you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to be standing in line, in that same late summer period, at the ocean breeze-bereft Disney World in my home state, and gasped in relief at those little fan-driven misters.
Fog is meant to keep you cool when it’s hot. But what if there’s no hot to begin with? What, further, if there is only cold? Bone-searing, joint-freezing cold? Like mid-60’s even?
Of course, the Fog makes you colder and wraps you in an envelope of cold. Then, without those relieving rays of the sun, you spend way too much of the walk wrapped in that cold.
Passing through the Fog proved no immediate surcease to my challenges, for next up were the sprinklers. Truly a test of my wee hours agility to avoid the poorly aimed water spouts that pointlessly watered the concrete stones of my sidewalk rather than the needy grass on either side. Woe be to me to suffer wetness on top of cold.
Finally, there was the attack from within. Cold air. Cold damp air. Thus, my sinuses began to rebel. First the sniffling. Then the beginnings of the runny nose. Emergency breathing techniques helped me escape the danger, for I could not carry tissues with me, lest I suffer even more dire times.
Too often in the past have I brought a tissue or two along with me on my walks. Too often also, have I not needed them and forgotten their existence until later, finding more pieces than it would appear constitute a single tissue to be strewn about all my clothes in the dryer. Fie on those purported “no-static” dryer sheets.
Ultimately, I prevailed in my walk and was able to write this grossly overlong tale of my success. I am now the master of my universe.
I have the power!