The Weather Outside is Frightful

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

(but inside it’s warm, baby)

Coming back home always feels a bit strange, though the wind chill and my shivering, ice-cold kneecaps has helped take my attention away from such thoughts. To quote the inimitable Mssr. Waits, it’s colder than a well digger’s ass.

Fucking inhuman “exposed-skin-freezes-in-seconds” weather aside, it’s nice to be back. I’ve missed basking in the glow of my friends’ and family’s brilliance. I’ve always felt that the perfect city for me would be one where I could slum with my beautiful kith and kin whenever I wanted, while still being able to indulge in the art / music / culture / humanity that is cities like Toronto and MontrĂ©al. You can’t have it all, I suppose.

Homecomings are a strange beast. For one thing, the run-up to the holidays causes Winnipeg’s population to swell by at least a few hundred thousand people, as hordes of expats flood back into the city. Excursions out to the King’s Head pub are half joyous reunions with old friends, and half “hey, isn’t that…” as one recognizes long-lost Winnipeggers, back from far-flung locales to get their annual fix of family and festivities.

Returning home is like time is being folded. You seemingly joins the moment you last left and the moment you returned, and all of the time you were away steps back into the shadows and disappears.

I suppose that’s the small tragedy I feel every time I return to Winnipeg. Even though it seems as if all of my time away somehow vanishes when I step off of the plane, there’s this gap in each of our personal histories. The people I love have changed, have lived through life’s small victories and defeats, and I’ve missed it all. And yet it feels like it once was…

But, this is what warm evenings indoors with friends and families are for: unravelling our histories and sharing ourselves with those we’ve missed. I, for one, am thankful that I am fortunate to have many who have been missed dearly, and whose stories I hold on to every word.

Happy holidays, folks. I hope you’re spending time with your favourite troubadours.

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