How would you skip Winter? Until recently, I thought that only those rich beyond my wildest dreams could use their credit cards to vanish out of thin air and reappear on the brink of Spring. I thought that the rest of us were doomed to face the brutality at every inevitable instance that we had to step outside; staying inside could only be done for so long. Skipping Winter? Skipping the most ferocious six months of the year, by running off to our wallets and living by the service of bellboys dressed in short sleeves and tan lines by the poolside? Absolutely impossible.
The only option around here was to deal. Deal with the negative eight degrees every morning, and the thirty-five degrees below zero wind chill every night. Deal with the foot of snow on our cars every morning and ice so thick that it breaks right through the ice-scraper. Deal with frozen boogers and red noses and numb fingers and toes, because this season always overstayed its welcome, and we had all learned that the only way to kick it out was to be rich.
That was until I met Rob. Rob, a guy so driven by impulse that on the second day of knowing me concocted the idea that we fly down to Florida and make our way up the East coast in a desperate attempt to skip Winter. This boy had a smile so comforting that it complimented his gray eyes, and as he thought of the idea with me, wrapped up in thought and surrounded by undressed teddy bears, he figured out how to actually skip Winter, and for only the cost revealing one's courage.
And as he stared at me I wondered if this was possible. I wondered if I was being crazy for even thinking that such an adventure was feasible, or if I was just lying to myself in a hysterical attempt to witness what it felt like to be outside in a T-shirt in mid-February. But he was for real, and if I was into it, he would escort me to the lower East coast and all the way back up, showing me everything I never knew about myself in between. He would buy me that blank journal, and the chisel tip sharpie with which to write "How to Get Back" on the cover. Rob, the guy with the gray eyes and the upright smile, would show me the world outside my window that I hid from for six months out of every year.
And we decided, with small pinches of anxiousness in the back of our throats, that we would do it. As practically strangers, we would buy one-way tickets to Tampa for $67 and find our way back together, whatever mess or disorder that would require. We would take the better part of six weeks to write out this journey together in an orgy of random encounters, arriving home in Burlington right at the refreshing bloom of Springtime. With impulsive minds and bizarre daydreams of what it felt like to be rich with empty pockets, we decided to skip Winter.