Winter Stars

Go outside sometime, on a clear winter night.

Go into the backyard, a field, a woodlot, a darkened alley, down the beach; some place you won’t be seen.

Look into the sky, stare unceasing. After you get bored of the stars, the satellites, the blackness, take off your jacket; toss it to the ground.

Wait a few minutes and then pull off your sweater, now your pants. After a few more minutes, peel off your T-shirt, your underwear, your socks—whatever is keeping your flesh warm—and finally your shoes.

Take a few steps back from your stuff and stand naked. Let the chill set in. You can move around to try to stay warm, but play this game until you shiver, convulse; get near-death-sick.

At the point of shock, go to your pile, grab everything; put it all on, fast as a fireman. Run.

Now go back to your warm place; the box with a roof and windows and perhaps a fireplace.

Sit on your couch, with your tea or hot drink clutched between your hands. It’s over, this winter dare.

CS

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