Published on
February 1, 2011

(I felt like writing this morning as I walked to school, and so when I finally sat down at my desk with plenty of time to spare I did just that. I had no idea at the time what the news sites were reporting nor what America would soon be experiencing according to forecasts. This was just an attempt at a writing exercise, but as only the future knows, it might be interesting to look back on as the morning I had 'before the storm.')

One long john undershirt. Two jackets, a hoodie and a leather one just over it. A pair of gloves procured for a dollar at Target. One scarf. The usual jeans and shoes combo. Lastly, a hat that is much disapproved by my girlfriend, who would rather not be seen with me when I choose to wear it. This is of no consequence, I wear it for practicality reasons, and she will not see me this morning anyway.

You see, I do not need to look at the weather to know what awaits me outside my front door. i have facebook, and other people will do it for me. "Single digits tomorrow. I didn't know single digits existed." My sister proclaimed last night, accompanied by a screenshot of the local weather forecast she got from one of those weather apps I do not use.

"Want me to pick you up?" my friend asked as we planned a lunch for today over the phone, "It's supposed to be cold out.

Numerous twitter reports would confirm this morning that, yes, Austin was cold. I grabbed my longboard and set out, prepared for anything.

Winter always comes unexpectedly. This is a surprise to me because it comes just about the same time every year; still people are always caught off guard. It is as if, after the holidays are over and the new year has come around, America expects spring to be the next logical step. They forget the long tortuous months in between. Today they would be reminded.

I rode away form my apartment complex just in time to see the bus pulling into the stop ahead of me. Unfortunately that stop was still more than 100 yards away, I would miss it and have to wait for the next one. Not a chance, I told myself, it was far too cold to wait. As luck would have it the bus would still have to round a few blocks and circle back to this main road. If I went up ahead I could still catch it, so that was my plan. As I rounded the corner something strange happened, I was hit with an onslaught of bitter wind.

I can handle the cold as much as any man. It's the wind chill that still threatens to overpower me. Fortunately I was more or less completely covered, some areas needing more layers than others, but I would survive. My only neglect was that my face was out in the open. Too late, I had to persevere.


And INTO the wind.

I was grateful when I finally entered the warm confines of the bus. The blood slowly coming back to my frozen nose and face, I mentally prepared for the next leg of my journey.

It was an easy fix: Take my scarf, cover the lower portion of my face, done.

I used to dress for fashion. That's not to claim I was fashionable, but in my younger days you wuoldn't catch me with articles of clothing on unless I thought it was "cool". Nowadays I'm all about practicality, but of course I'm still cool. Today I probably looked stupid. I imagine I evoked similar images of school boys bundled up by their mothers at age eight as they were sent off to their elementary school only to be laughed at by classmates.

I didn't care. I was protected.

If winter wants to come hard this year, I'll be ready for it.

Hours later I saw this: "@Devindra: America will soon be known as Hoth:" (via Twitter)

I might need a bigger jacket.

Echo Base Officer: Your Tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker! 
Han Solo: Then I'll see you in Hell! 

Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.