New Year’s Day

She slept in her room down the hall. He watched television up front with the sound down. The Weather Channel was showing all this arctic air moving in from Canada. Five day forecast didn’t have a day above freezing. A blue color on the map indicated that snow was coming. Strong winds. Blizzard like conditions. The old man looked at all this with the wonder of a child. New Haven hadn’t had a good snow storm in years. He was ready for one. And she, she’d just sleep through it.

The old man stayed up all night waiting for the first flake to fall. He had the porch light on and the curtains open. He walked over to the sliding glass door and put his frail hand against it. Cold, he said. That’s cold, he mumbled. He went back to watching the TV. It seemed as though the blue swaths of color were moving to the south of his state now. The arctic air was blowing the blue band farther and farther away. It was announced there would be no blizzard. Less than an inch would fall in his area. The old man was not amused.

No snow, he said out loud. Damn. Can’t have anything go my way, he yelled. The old man turned off the television and poured himself a whiskey. Sitting in the dark he could hear his wife snoring down the hall. She’d be up in a little while, he thought. Have to break the news to her, he lit a cigarette. He then walked over to the curtains to close them and turn off the light. He sipped his drink. And looked up at the sky. Clear as a bell, he whispered. Clear as a bell. The old man went to sleep in his recliner, dreaming of fluffy white stuff. He had a smile on his face. It was New Year’s Day.

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