This is what Thomas Pynchon and I have in common: our ancestors were Puritans who emigrated to North America during the Great Migration (1630s/1640s, fool!). The intervening 340 years full of New England winters seem to have altered my inherited DNA in a way that’s only obvious once the winterlich stimulus has been removed. That is, I love winter. I love the cold, I love the snow, and I love the mayhem caused by the cold and snow.* I crave it. Having grown up in the South and currently living in the Mid-Atlantic, this makes me just a guy at the pet store looking for a “real” dog; the only options available to me have had their savagery bred out of them aeons ago. All I’m left with now, as a way to exercise my instincts, is to pray for even the lightest of dustings so I can be out there in the middle of it all, shoveling and salting my sidewalk. And my neighbor’s sidewalk. And a path down to the corner of my block. Wearing my thick-ass wool socks. Long johns. One of many toques with the puffball on top. Just shoveling, daring nature to undo what I have just done. You can’t, cause I just laid down the salt, you weak-ass bitch, Maryland Winter!
* Of course, I love the mayhem caused by hurricanes, but that’s just displacement, the search for an alternative stimuli.