Tonawanda News


December 20, 2013

ADAMCZYK: Not a fit night out for man nor beast

Tonawanda News — It’s getting discouraging and predictable. It’s snowing. Whatever time it is, whatever day it is, it’s snowing. When it’s not raining, it’s snowing. 

Siberia must be like this (similarly, San Diego and its meteorological blandness, but without the snow). Whatever you do these days is done against a backdrop of snow, snow as metaphor, snow as obstacle, snow as constant counterpoint to eating, sleeping, breathing. Dostoevsky and Pasternak explained it better than I ever will, but snow is what you walk through, what you shovel, what you avoid when you go inside.

The theater that is your life, short-term, has a stage made of snow (and we are merely players).

The recent wave of you-know-what has blown a massive hole in a pet theory of mine, that Western New York winters are essentially 90-day endurance tests. Make it through January, February and March and you’ve made it through winter. Indeed, it can snow before and after those months, but it can be balmy as well. Winter now is whenever winter chooses to force itself in.

Walking around this snow globe of a village, several evenings ago on my way to some of Kenmore’s fine cuisine (Mike’s Subs on Delaware Avenue) — silent, crunch crunch crunch, a vortex of snowflakes in the air, and incredibly cold, I neglected to mention — the weather was an agent of heightened senses. Looking at neighbors’ outdoor Christmas lights and displays, televisions on and visible through windows, and me the only one outside, I felt like it was a movie, a nature film and I was a black rabbit being chased by a polar bear across the Arctic.

I pondered why more horror films do not use snowstorms, or winter, as backdrops to their plots. “The Shining,” of course, wherein a guy overdoses on his own imagination as he spends a winter marooned in an empty resort hotel. A haunted house of the mind.

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