Friday, December 17, 2010

Rules for Living in the Snowbound State

There is no better cure for that horrible moment when your online music station starts playing Heart, and you start singing along, than to immediately quickly without hesitation play some George Michael. George Michael's Greatest Hits is almost always a good idea, it's that strong shot of Goldschlager you used to do in the basement of the old Grid, because you were underage, it had gold in it, and you hadn't developed your hatred of cinnamon yet.

I'm extremely tired. I went to sleep full of eggnog that various lawyers fed me like candy, and woke up two hours later, not hungover but vaguely broken. Disassociated. Full of things left to say, but there's the rub in waking up sometimes by yourself. My muscles ache now, in that warm exhausted way, when every small direction you stretch - your ribs, your neck, your eyelids even burn slowly. It's that vulnerable time when any classic pop song is going to win, and loads of other things that are bad for you. We're so sensitive in the winter here, easily disappointed, easily excited. Then by March we'll be regular stone profiles, done with all this shit. Oh and then Spring. I can imagine the Spring light if I close my eyes really tight. It's under the ice. The ice even smells like it.

It was so cold outside today the hairs on the back of my neck frosted over. We got out of the car and were instantly hit by a wall of frozen air. We walked to the rocks, and in five minutes our noses were red. In another five, my fingers could no longer work the camera. Ten, we were falling asleep. Fifteen, we were snow zombies, stumbling on the ice, giddily taking bad pictures of each other. Twenty and there were no longer two girls on the beach, but two silent huddled things, trying to find the car like bats, with echolocation.

There were sentries every where on the lake shore, watching and waiting. The annual appearance of the sentries means we're no longer in control. Instead this giant slow body of water is taking over, burying us alive. You have to fight back or it won't respect you. It's hard to fight something so harsh and gorgeous, enormous and heavy. It takes intent.

After all, we're the least affected, really. We're the lucky ones, with thumbs and coats and scarfs and heated cars to escape to. If we just keep moving, the ice won't get us.

All these dead monsters got swept out by the ice, whales and snakes and giant rotting trunks of man eating sturgeon. Winter is when the Lake cleans itself, I think. Exfoliates it's evils. Walking along around the carcasses, it's like that really cool dream you had when you were a kid, and you were St. George fighting the dragons, but the dragons were all dead to begin with, buried under continental drift. See, they stopped moving. This is the lesson today.

All roads going to the Lake are ice. All roads away from the Lake are ice. All paths to the water are now designed to kill you by an apathetic titan. You are so fucked. But the ships are still coming through. The ships always come through. They are tanks and siege engines and monstrous mountain dogs. The ships are amazing; never give up, never back down, never stop bringing the coal and the salt and the rock. God, that's hot.

And there's this creeping deadly advancing growth of water, water desperately crawling out of it's bed, reaching for dry land. It's an invasion by something that thinks it belongs here more than us.

Steel yourself by any means necessary. Food, drink, sex, whatever it is that keeps you agitated and keeps your vibrations from syncing up with the rest of the world. You have to stay on a different frequency from the Lake.

More photos from Snow Day 2010


  1. Wow. These photos and your words are so perfectly matched.

    But now? I am freezing! ;-)

  2. Collie insists she read something that says getting yourself really really really cold burns more calories too, which is what I'm going to tell my mother when she yells at me for not wearing a hat.

  3. I've never seen anything like the circle ice. I'd totally love a PS brush that looked like that.

    And holy god, woman, the hairs on your neck frosted over?? Is that ALLOWED?

  4. No. I'm filing a formal complaint.

    I think the circle ice happens because the chunks of the lake that freeze are still being bumped around by the waves, so they form in these platelets. It sounds like it makes sense, right?

  5. Beautiful writing. Gorgeous photos.

  6. Thanks Blue.
    But it's Madonna that really brings it all together.

  7. Outstanding. I am inspired to venture out and Witness this encroaching neighbor for myself!

  8. Bring an electric nose warmer. No, really.

  9. I'm with Vapid. Have I mentioned how very much I hate being cold?

  10. Does this mean you won't take a walk with me to take pictures of glorious New Jersey? What if we take a flask?

  11. I have long underwear. And there are many coffee shops in which to thaw.

  12. You'd never have to ask me twice to go out into the cold with you, Bridget.


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