i wasn’t going to go anywhere today, but then i ran out of coffee and food. i figured i’d go outside and see how much ice was covering my car, and depending on the results i’d either drive to the grocery store or walk to a gas station.
it was pretty bad. i used my key to chip the ice from the driver’s side door lock and then, with great effort, wrenched the door open. half-inch-thick sheets of ice flew off the door and shattered on the pavement in front of me. one of my neighbors came outside and saw me standing in the shards.
“want some help?” he said. “i’m from chicago.”
in texas a statement like that is a testament to ice-and-snow expertise. “yes!” i said.
“okay,” he said, walking over to my car. he pulled a spatula from his back pocket. i noticed he was wearing just a t-shirt and jeans, and i was about to say, aren’t you cold?, but then i remembered about the chicago thing.
“you have to take the handle and kind of stab at the ice around the edges like this,” he said, demonstrating on the passenger side. “then you use the spatula part to wedge the big pieces off.”
i watched him spatula all the ice off my windshield. “that’s awesome!” i said. “it’s totally working!”
“you can have this spatula if you want,” he said.
i didn’t want it, but i thought it might be rude to refuse. is it rude to say no when someone offers you a spatula? “thanks!” i said.
the grocery store was packed with people and empty of a lot of food. apparently when there’s an ice storm people buy a lot of milk, bread, beer, and pizza. “fuck this!” they say. “we’re getting a pizza!”
the apartment complex has been much quieter today than yesterday. apparently thick, hazardous sheets of ice don’t inspire much excitement on the part of local children. every now and then the relative silence is broken by large crashing sounds, of ice falling from trees and eaves and breaking on the pavement.
for my part, i have this irrational fear of myself or the dog being stabbed fatally from above by a falling icicle. if it were me, the ice would melt by the time they found me and nobody would be able to figure out how i got such a great big hole in the top of my head. the running theory would be self-trepanation until they called in someone who reads too many mystery novels, someone who would immediately realize i’d been stabbed by an icicle.
i don’t even want to think about what would happen if it were the dog. because that would be morbid.