When the sun dipped below the western horizon of the Front Range for the last time on Nov. 25, and the heavens dropped 75 feet of snow on the Denver Metro area the following night, my world became tiny.
The bakery where I work is only a block from my house, but the winter storm transformed the hillside on which I live into a treacherous ice chute. If I didn’t hate sports at such a high level, I’d start a luge club.
Did Colorado actually experience autumn this year, or did I lapse into some catatonic depression and miss it? Does it seem like we went from sweat-inducing 90 degree afternoons to a dark, wintry hellscape with absolutely no fall? Every morning I put on my boots and field jacket to walk to work, and I have to remind myself I’m not defending Stalingrad against the Nazis and — Oh shit, I am depressed. I’ve been binge-watching WWII documentaries. That’s a dead giveaway.
But I digress. The frosty, white death from above rendered my four-cylinder pick-up truck (very manly) immobile in the street. I parked it on an incline and the rear-wheel drive could simply find no purchase on the icy asphalt. The two-foot-high snow drift the city plows deposited in front of the bumper likewise did not help matters.
The truck didn’t move for six days. Coincidentally, neither did I.
A normal response to this would be: John, you really should park the truck in the parking lot, so your world doesn’t become one city block in size.
My response was, of course: Too useless to move your car, I see. This is why your world is only one city block in size. By the way, no one likes you.
The sun didn’t really come out, and every attempt to coax the truck out of its icy tomb ended in seething frustration. My hands are covered in blood blisters, a gift from a rickety snow shovel nearing the end of its life and apparently wanting to take someone to the other side with it.
I began to experience cabin fever that bordered on claustrophobia. Sure, what would I really do with access to a vehicle anyway? Shop for used compact discs and maybe get some carne asada in the lawless border region that separates Arvada and Westminster? Why not?
On Sunday it was a balmy 37 degrees outside, so the snow melted just a little bit. My chance had arrived. I poured salt beneath the truck, freed it enough to move backward six feet, and rammed the snow drift. The truck got stuck halfway out into the street. I opened the door and pushed and shoved and cursed no one in particular.
I was wearing boots and shorts. I needed a haircut. A man walking his grandson turned and hightailed it. I laughed maniacally. Buddy Holly’s “Everyday” was playing too loud on my stereo. I know now that “Everyday, it’s a getting closer,” is not about love. Buddy was talking about insanity.
I finally freed the beast and went for a drive. Right off the bat, a woman tailgated me angrily. Maybe I should have just stayed home.