Simple City

I wake to find the world wildly simplified. Snow has blanketed every surface; the heavens are grey and emptying. My permakitten raises her head and drapes a paw over my shoulder. “You’re not going out there,” she’s saying, but I am realizing there is no coffee in the house. The world is thus more simplified: Must fetch coffee. In a stupor, I don layers of warm not itchy, curse myself for failing to pull parka from storage, add to daunting to-do list. I do not forget gloves. I do not forget scarf. I forget socks. The only open cafe is a half mile away. I begin my trek. The sidewalks are not plowed. The streets are. I walk in the middle of streets, ignoring cars honking as they inch by. Simple. Must fetch coffee. At the coffee shop I order, sip, look at raw, cold ankles. “Oh my god,” says the barrista, looking too. I blink twice. Back I go, coffee in paw, croissant in pocket. Simple. Through the elements, wet cold dark. On my block, I fumble for key, force open door, try not to wake sleeping neighbors. My apartment is strewn with work and unhappiness but it is shelter and it is mine. Out of cold wet I strip; into bed I climb with coffee croissant cat. There is nowhere I must be and I am warm and safe. I am lucky and I know it.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy