From the window above my bed, I watch the cool light grow brighter as the morning ages.
Without getting up, I know that it snowed overnight.
My body feels heavy, I am exhausted.
I could lay here in bed all day and think.
Today feels different. It is quieter outside as if the snow sucked up all the noise in the world. It feels as though all life has been put on pause.
I am hesitant to get up and possibly upset this rare moment, making everything go back to normal.
I don't like normal.
My whole life has been less than average, I have failed to meet expectations and been dismissed as nothing more than the person who was close but couldn't quite make it.
Even if I was in last place it would be better then where I am. If I was in the last place I might be noticed, even if it is just as a loser.
But in my life, I am neither hated nor loved. I don't have enough distinction to set myself apart from the next person.
I am the unseen human, the one in the background. The one that is expendable.
I am used to it, but I hate it.
I hate myself for never achieving anything of value, and for allowing myself to become just a space-filler.
I like the snow. It slows things down and gives me the chance to catch up.
I like how winter makes you feel.
On the days I feel most numb and hopeless, the cold finds its way into my covers and makes me shiver. If I am shiver from cold, I want to make myself warm. If I want to be warm, I have to get out of my bed. If I get out of bed, I make it to the kitchen to heat water. If I am in the kitchen I realize I am hungry. If I eat something, I find I am hungry. Then I begin to think that maybe I could go to the store for food I like and ask the cashier what she likes to eat and if she thinks I should try it too.
During the winter is when I feel most alive.
And like the day before and the day before that, my blankets are not enough to keep out the cold.
I get up.
I heat water.
I make hot chocolate.
I make a list in my head of things that make me special.
It is a short list but I am happy with it.
Number one is that I like hot chocolate more than coffee. I know that most people prefer coffee and so that makes me different.
Number two is that my socks have a tag that says they were made from plants which sounds really interesting to me.
Number three... I didn't think of a third.
A look through a dirty window shows that the snow is quickly piling up. My porch is covered in a layer that is several inches thick.
This would usually discourage me from leaving the house. But today is different. I want to go outside.
Everything is laid out for me. My plain brown boots are sagging where they stand in the entry. My old coat is on its hook where its been for days.
The door seems to welcome me to open it.
I turn the handle and take a step. Then another. And another.
I'm standing by a tree. It's my favorite one, I know it well from looking at it from my bedroom window. Now I am right here beside it, looking up at its bare branches.
Maybe I can become something, someone of importance.
I could become an educator, or a scientist, or a musician. I would be anything, just not me.
I'm walking faster, I've passed the weathered fence around my yard, I've made it to the yellow house across the street.
I could go knock on my neighbor's door right now and introduce myself, I might make a friend.
I don't have time, is the excuse I tell myself. I'm too busy.
I catch a snowflake in my hand. It is perfect, designed by clouds.
I want to look at it before it melts so it can remain the same in my memory.
But it doesn't melt.
The snowflake sits in my hand, still and quiet.
I cry out, I yell.
Nothing. There is no sound coming from my mouth.
The empty air scares me.
I turn around to go back to my house.
The yellow house is gone, the fence is no longer behind me, everything is replaced by white.
I have left no footprints.