my mind races, thinking, prodding
it's all i can do to keep warm.
i reach my truck and wrestle the door open,
breaking the seal of ice that held it closed all day.

my key is bent a little, from being forced
into the door one-too-many times.
one more forcing won't hurt, i guess.

my truck resists, grumbles, whines at me
for pulling it out of it's cold rest in the lot.
as i sit there, listening to my truck calm down and warm up,
i ponder what route to take to get home.
there's now on the ground, so highway 280 is out of the question.
35w it is.

the truck is running a bit smoother now, the heater belts aren't whining now.
my night class went well, we had a good discussion.
my breath and the moisture spewing from my lungs is still quite visible in the air,
and it's condensing on the inside of the windshield
where i last wiped it down to clear it off.

the streaks are random, a cross-hatch on the inside and salt and sand road-spray on the outside.
i push the lever to spew some very cold, (but not quite as cold as the air)
windshield washer fluid on the glass and dirt.

as i release and watch the wipers miss some spots, and cathc others, the entire windshield gives off a thin steam for a second.
then, at random spots, the liquid film left on the glass cools to the below-zero air temperature, and freezes.

it doesn't freeze in a sheet though,
it freezes like rock candy begins to form, like a spider web
or a leaf, with viens and roots.

the branches gradually reach out, connect with each other at random speeds,
the lights from the parking lot cast an eerily clear glow
to this beautiful web of frozen water.

my truck is now running nicely, smoothly, and the heater is blowing not-below-zero air on the windshield.
the web of ice slowly receeds into the thick veins, leaving nothing but an autumn-like network of large branches, then with one more swing of my windshield wipers, it's gone all gone,
nothing but snow, winter and a long drive ahead

Colloquial term for Antarctica which is mostly covered by it, and contains most of the world's supply of it. The term is used to prefix a variety of words describing things or activities in Antarctica. For instance, a person who has spent a lot of time on the ice becomes an "ice person". Seniority for USAP program participants is calculated in terms of "ice time". And so on.


This is one of my first wus, before I realized what a wu was. We all have to start somewhere.

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