The light from our bedroom window can be so bright in the morning it wakes me up long before the sound of my alarm. This is especially true in the winter months when the sky remains a perpetually blinding shade of white. While its hard to complain when you open your eyes and see the New York skyline and snow capped rooftops across the street, it does make it difficult to fall back asleep. When I found myself awake at 7:30AM this Sunday morning, I thought a lot about winter in the city and how I had made it through nearly two already. I rummaged for my old journal in nostalgic reflection, halfway attempting to wake Todd from his frustratingly peaceful slumber, and came across this gem of an entry. A perfect capture of the trials and tribulations of my first winter and subway struggles.
January 5th, 2016
It was frigid today. And I finally got a taste of what everyone has been talking about. I have been cold before, sure. But the whiplash of bone-chilling cold to extreme heat exhaustion and back was something I hadn't prepared myself for. Everyone said, "be prepared, buy a ridiculously expensive Canada Goose jacket." But no one said, "be careful, don't wear grey."
I always wear grey. Even the sweltering summer months don't eliminate the sweat-revealing color from my closet. But the ghastly exposure to the capabilities of human perspiration I experienced this morning was unlike anything else.
On the nine minute E train from Spring Street to Times Square 42nd Street I lost approximately one pound. Not much when you are trying to don a new bikini on the beach, but an ungodly amount to lose in perspiration while still carrying the weight of your clothing.
I knew my butt cheeks would eventually unstick themselves. The back of my knee caps would soon dry, leaving me itchy from the salt left behind. But it was the stains on the front, back and underarms of my shirt that would scar me that day.
My office mates paused to watch as I slowly peeled off the down jacket. Saying nothing but questioning where I had been and what extreme sport I might have been engaging in. I was careful to not whisk beads of sweat in anyone's general direction.
"Just trying to commute. Trying my very best and failing," I thought out loud (if that's at all possible). So many more thoughts and intended words flew across the room, but still silence.
It took close to 40 minutes for my body temperature to return to normal. Until then I was 50 shades of grey. This is what it must feel like to go through menopause, perhaps. Or much worse, I couldn't tell.
I removed all grey things from my closet tonight. It was a ceremonious ritual of sorts. Relinquishing my anger and finding peace in removing a color from your life seems silly and inconceivable, but at the same time necessary. Until a less complex and confusing season my old friends, you might resurface in my closet. But its goodbye for now.