sipping a big drink on a bitter cold Michigan night in January

Bitter Michigan cold, but the snow is pretty in the morning when the world is still and it’s just me and the crows and whatever follows a tired body from sleepless nights and fragmented dreams into the day. I’m amazed with what winter does to fingers, cheeks, the soles of my boots, as I take one careful step after another and convince myself that what I’m doing is good, Godly and true.

Walking to work.

Providing.

Not writing, but making ends meet just enough so they overlap so that S.B., Oogie, and Little Man don’t ever need to worry about having bread or bananas, meat or cheese, apple juice, candy, and Count Chocula. They’ll always have socks, mittens, shirts, shoes, and jeans. And once a month we can eat at restaurant, or go to the movies, or go bowling.

After I know that bills have been paid, the Toyota’s tank has been topped off, insurance premiums are up to date, and S.B. can buy a shirt, or makeup, or art supplies, or something she may want or need—though she hardly ever indulges in frivolous things—I make my trip to Neiman’s Family Market, or Jimmy Garant’s, or The Cracker Barrel for a fifth or half-gallon of vodka so on a night like this, eight degrees above zero under a starry sky, I can sit inside, put my fingers to the keys, sip and slowly unwind from another day I’ve loved and that’s somehow made me animally happy, even though there is nothing I can do to escape the disappearance of our time, the futility of these roles, and this bitter Michigan cold.

~ K.J.


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