Monday, December 27, 2010

Cold as hell

It’s a very cold Sunday morning and he shivers as he waits for his car to warm up enough to throw hot air on the windshield and melt the ice. He could scrape it off, sure, but the wind is howling and he’s tired and though he should be in a rush he’s not really, so he sits there instead, thinking about how maybe windshields should have those little ice-melting wires like back windows do though he knows that might not be great for seeing.

The radio is playing old Chili Peppers and he turns and digs through the junk on the back seat and finds the gloves he thought he lost, but when he tries to put them on the insides are like ice and he pulls his hands back into his sleeves and curses the winter.

He revs the engine as small wet spots appear before him. He pulls on the washer switch and shoots the ice melt mixture onto the glass. The wipers create small portholes forward; in the mirror the rear defroster has carved slightly open blinds. He backs out of the driveway.

The street is a skating rink and his tires slide as he brakes at the corner. He considers this. Thinks about the half hour ride to church that starts in twenty minutes. Then turns right instead of left and heads to the IHOP. He beats the after church rush and settles in with a newspaper, the endless hot coffee, and a month’s worth of fat and cholesterol.

He wraps his still cold hands around the warm ceramic mug. “God is everywhere,” he tells himself.

(copyright 2004-2010 by Ira David Socol)

Monday, December 20, 2010


He'd skate backwards and we'd chase.

Ten, twelve, fifteen, twenty - eight, nine, and ten-year-olds boys, sometimes leaning on their sticks for extra stability as we tired, following my father around the lake as sisters and mothers played at figure skating in the center and the teenagers played real games along the south shore.

The snow clouds had blown away, the sun spread light but not warmth, the air held a mix of ice and salt and the smell of wool soaked with sweat.

(copyright 2010) by Ira David Socol