He woke up, looking out at the cold just past his blanket. His lean-to only covers a minimal field of his view. Absolutely beautiful, even living outside he could appreciate the beauty of Colorado winters. The air had a quality he could only describe as crisp – you could feel the edge of your nostrils freezing with every breath in. Balling up his resolve he bursts from under his blanket puts his jacket on right and kicks on his boots just as fast as he can. Precious heat flowed from him into the winter.
“Damn-damn-damn-damn” A half shiver half curse flowed as he stamped his feet to generate more heat. He turned around and stowed his blanket while he grabbed his Nike bag – his only possessions. He stood up and really took in the area he sleeps in. The trees were weighed down by ice and snow. The lightest grains of snow blew across the field like the sands on the surface of dunes, transferring depth from one spot to another. He could see the flat path of snow that indicated the jogging path that cut through the field. In this state everything was clean and white, the shadows were sky blue and there wasn’t enough light to blind him. “Beautiful.”
He laughs to himself with the mirth reserved for those who can find happy moments even in their own suffering. He was thinking what he was going to do with his day, if there were some friends that could let him warm up in their house, for a bit. He knew his chances were better if he could steal some food so he could cook for them. He was going to try Ken’s place first. There were three convenience stores on the way to Ken’s he was going to see what…
“FUCK!” Distracted by his thoughts he slipped on his makeshift bridge – a ladder across the Highline Canal. He was standing waist deep in the canal right now. He gathered all his rage and focused it into the task ahead. There was only one task now – Survival. He knew now that he was wet all he needed to do no was fall over and he’d die, getting up is never guaranteed in this weather if you’re wet.
One foot in front of the other he focused on the pain. Others would try to ignore it, he needed it. Pain kept him moving forward, hard. He passed every building on the way to Ken’s, every one of them an island of warmth. His wet pants were frozen stiff, but stopping would only prolong his suffering. His vision was blurry, his mind was racing and his skin burned but finally he stood at Ken’s door.
“Oh damn, I hope he is home.” He raised his hand and rapped the door with knuckles that exploded with pain on the door. BANG! BANG! BANG! “Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.”