week 40: snow


this weeks prompt reminded me of this one odd night near the end of my college career, I was living in san francisco, where the weather is generally pretty cool, every once in awhile you might get a hot streak or cold snap, but so long as you dressed in layers you should be alright. anyway. this one night I was on my way to somewhere, probably some dive bar or another, and I was waiting, as usual, for muni to decide whether or not it felt like being on schedule, when something... happened.

I am fond of saying that I can deal with rain but snow is best when visited than lived in. living in California I am aware that I really don't have a true sense of what cold can really mean, I have dealt with snow on several occasions, before and since, but never while living in the city. until that night.

at first I thought it was ash, but I didn't smell smoke, it was cold, colder than it had been in a week of cold days and while the clouds had been threatening they had yet to make good on it.

it was snowing... I guess it happens once in a very long while, honestly while living there I went through more riots/protests, and earthquakes than this.

it was something like amazing. everything got quiet, cars stopped, people stopped and looked up at the sky. the only sound I remember really hearing is the sound of the flakes hitting the ground. it wasn't really sticking but here and there small piles began to appear.

and then it dumped, like a torrential rain, snow sleet and finally settling on hail. large chunks of ice. it lasted maybe five to ten minutes but after it let up and we emerged from recessed doorways and local shops the street was this pristine white that you might expect to see in some mountain town in winter. it was so surreal and beautiful.

and suddenly we were all ten again, me, these other people some in suits, some in colors, all making snowballs and snowmen and laughing.

it was a good moment, and a memory that I honestly might have forgotten if not for this topic, I wish I could remember the specific date, I think it may have been late fall or near enough. it goes to show you that when you live in a city that prides itself for its diversity and where everyone is so desensitized and "having seen it all" it can still find ways of taking your breath away and knock your jaded and cynical hear on its figurative ass.
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