A biting, bitter cold consumes me.

Colder than darkest space or the gaze of a forsaken love, it tears at my windbreaker and whistles through my hair. It is as if all the frigid indifferences and icy words of the world have coalesced into a crystal-clear diamond-hard point and rammed themselves deep into my chest. It’s hard to breath; the air steals every breath I take, scattering across the snow as a thin gray vapor. I can see others out here too, struggling through ankle-deep powder towards destinations long forgotten or unknown.

I smile as we pass, but the cold stiffness of my mouth makes more of a grimace, though my amicable wave still shows my intent. No reply; the other figures, stark against the snow, are either too frozen or too absorbed in their own worlds to touch another across the gaps that separate us all.

Perhaps, in their worlds, this is a better circumstance.

A place of business closed, with an entire sun cycle to waste. Or exposure to climes colder still, making the tundra I see no more than a powdered-sugar frost. I eventually get where I’m going, and so do they. The ice in the air will eventually coalesce into the pattering of April raindrops. But for now, frozen in time as well as being, we simply pass each other by and vanish into the mists from whence we came.