First, in came the rain, then the wind. Then later, in came the snow and the chill. And then in came nothing but gnawing numbness…
Autumn is fast going by and soon winter, the notorious Michigan winter will soon be knocking at my door. And I, a transplanted mortal from another world will have to cope with it day-to-day, and on the hostile weather’s term, at that- which means having to contend with slippery drives in the snow, fishtailing and skidding on treacherous icy roads, and going 60 mph in blizzard conditions.
Mornings are a notch colder this year as compared to the previous years owing to the so- called “lake effect” phenomenon because of the mere fact that Michigan is not being called the Great Lakes State for nothing; but having 4 of the 5 (read: HOMES for Huron, Ontario+, Michigan, Erie and Superior) traversing its shores, you can only expect both its blessings and curses in uncanny fashion.
Speaking of fashion, although I do not walk on a hot tin roof, I do find myself tip-toeing on the cold snow-covered cemented walkway everyday, clad in my multi- colored winter, or I say wind-chill, proof outfit that will put any creations of that eccentric French designer Jean Paul Gaultier to shame. On better days, I would hurriedly walk, side-stepping the icy parts and treading gingerly towards the garage doorway, panting hard amid the thin air and breathing smoke in the process while at the same time admiring the snowflakes dancing in the air. On most days, I am looking more like a tired smoke belcher on the road than on a runway, looking more and more like the Michelin man than a handsome one, the part that one only gets to play in the realms of one’s dreams when REM finally sets in.
Simply put, the daily struggle is not a stuff made for pleasant dreams. It is actually bordering on the edge of nightmare. But man since time immemorial is made of much sterner stuff than most living things and this daily struggle of mine will soon be relegated to the tundra of my erratic memory as I continue to confront the challenges of daily life.
But Michigan’s natural beauty can ably compensate for its brutality. Yes, it may be so damn cold sometimes that you can even bet that the fires of hell will surely freeze in this place, but its beauty and sights are really magnificent, too, especially during the fall and winter seasons. So, I say that the great divide between heaven and hell, of beauty and madness is in reality just a very thin line albeit a coarse one.
Hell, by the way, is also a small town found in Michigan where many Michiganders would take the time to drive there during the tax season and have their income tax return postmarked in its little post office before sending them out to ol’ Uncle Sam to show their profound feelings for him. Of course, a trek to that place is not complete without buying the ubiquitous bumper stickers that you see in many cars in Motown that reads, “I’ve been to HELL and Back.”
That being to Hell and back can also adequately apply to me in whatever notions that you can formulate in your mind. Yes, I’ve been burned a lot, not because I like to play with fire but because I am just a fool, a really stubborn fool. I’ve been there and suffered enough, truth is, the fires did burn me yet it did not unfaze me, but it can become quite cold and lonely out there, and that’s the hardest part.
If in the future I will find myself taking the road less traveled again, even though I know that, that road will only lead me to hell. I will still gladly take them for I know that at the end of that dark and unpaved road lays the sacred fruit of heaven.
Note: I was tinkering with my site's layout a week ago, when I realized that I inadvertently deleted some of my posts. Darn. My apologies to the persons who commented on those posts that were unceremoniously sent to the dustbin of history. :(