April showers bring May flowers. Right?Supposedly.
Well, if spring usually comes in like a lion, this year it's decided to play a prank and come disguised as a ferocious polar bear instead. This is not a costume party, spring! Get with the program. The April showers that — in my memory — leave behind a gentle, earthy aroma of possibility and warmth to come today are icy harbingers of death that deaden the soul and permeate the body with an unreasonable, unseasonable chill. Well, we are not amused, spring.
Today's near-frozen rain and temperatures left me shivering at the bus stop and muttering obscenities under my visible breath. Scowling as I rolled the scroll wheel on my BlackBerry, I noticed a new tweet about every 10 minutes from someone complaining about how miserable the weather was. (I lasted until after 4:30, when I was finally outside Anyone who was celebrating the drizzly Monday-morning weather surely doesn't have an hour-plus commute by public transportation. It was so cold today, in fact, that I endured a longer commute to sit on a warm bus instead of stumbling, addled, up Western in my somehow-oversize patent peep-toes and letting my fingers freeze in an icy grip around the handle of my inadequate umbrella.
Ahh, hello, Serendipity. Glorious happenstance.
I'd decided, after reading a particularly stomach-turning chapter in Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (involving an Asian girl and a sexual position called the pile driver? shudder), that I deserved green curry for dinner. And as I rounded the corner and began my purposeful southward walk to the Thai hole-in-the-wall that I frequent, I suddenly realized where all the sunshine and warmth in Chicago had disappeared to. Walking toward me: a fairly attractive man I'd never seen. (Though I'd like to think they flock to me, strange men passing me by actually happens all the time.) Being me, I flashed a quick smile and shifted my eyes downward as I always do — hold that gaze too long and suddenly you're a floozy! — until I was blinded and caught completely off guard by the sweetest, most genuine smile I've ever received from a stranger. There was no flirtation or tawdry intention (pity); we were just two humans happily acknowledging each other's existence on a cruel joke of a cold day. If I believed in God, I would say this boy possessed the light of Christ in its entirety.
When I walked into my apartment, I shook my umbrella's icy wetness into the drafty stairwell, opened a bottle of Cabernet Franc, settled onto the sofa with my well-deserved curry and a movie, and smiled openly as I thawed. The rain drumming on my window tonight is soothing, and the damp chill can't get me here under my covers. So? All right, lion. Wear that fancy white coat and do your wintry best: When you shed all those layers and prance away like the lamb I know you're about to become, I'll be the one laughing — and, I hope, spreading more sunshine to strangers on the sidewalk.