Animal Magnetism

This one cold day had a sharp edge to it. The light shone bright and hard. My breath condensed into fast diffusing puffs, and the dry air sucked moisture off of my forehead. It was too frigid for a slow walk, but perfect for a run. My glad legs warmed and carried me quickly down the lane towards the river.

A couple strolled on the narrow path ahead of me, holding hands and looking at the skeletal winter landscape. I wondered why they were out on such a raw day. They looked young, maybe 19 or 20, and seemed very much in love with deep gazes and frequent kisses grazing each other’s cheeks. I guessed they were tourists from the nearby hostel, making the most of the time that they had in New York even though it was too cold to be outside. I wished it was spring for them, just for a minute.

The air became warmer around me. Time slowed down and I was outside of myself. The first bird landed on my shoulder and startled me, but the spring breeze I felt brought more and more. My legs kept moving slowly, but stretched as if I were running. A group of squirrels appeared, fat and scolding by the benches. Grass erupted and flowers popped out of their buds as I passed the couple. I turned my face and smiled. “Beautiful day, huh?”

The couple stopped and stared, mouths agape. I ran a little further and the scene froze back into the icy dead-of-winter scene it was before I ran by.



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