Missed connections: Winter 1989, Syracuse, NY

You: the guy who made the effort to lift a window and holler, “Dumb bitch.”

Me: the girl who had just slipped on the ice, falling flat on my back in the street.

I was recently reminded of our relationship when a friend related her story of a well-meaning person who told her to “be careful” after she had already slipped in slushy conditions. While our time together was admittedly brief, our connection has clearly stayed with me through the years.

Deciding voluntarily to endure several Syracuse winters confers a certain Spartan distinction in and of itself: forswearing the dubious comforts of a dormitory and striking out to taste college-town apartment life and the delights of alternate-side street parking in subzero conditions can but add luster to this achievement.  But you, you uncompromising cheerleader: you wanted me to be better, try harder, maintain balance in a slick, unmanageable hellscape.  You expected more from me in that twilight hour when we had to shift our vehicles, battling like gladiators for that plum spot just outside the front door.

I admit, I was breathless from your attentions. Or maybe it was just that I had the wind knocked out of me.  Landing flat on your back will do that to you.

I wonder, sometimes – did you subsequently set foot on an icy step, fall, and strike some crucial bit of anatomy? Not your head, of course – any skull that contains the random assortment of neurons that would fire in such a fashion to produce a response such as yours to my situation that frigid night would clearly put a brain in the “nice to have” category.  I have little faith, but I do have hope that a sort of enduring karma was visited upon you at some point.  You were, after all, memorable.


  1. New post: Missed connections: Winter 1989, Syracuse, NY http://t.co/WooIC172E8