Over the River and Thru the Woods..!

Okay. So maybe this post isn't about the time I trekked across a river and through the woods, but sometimes what should be a regular outing for an errand can feel like I just went cross country skiing. This is especially true in the winter when piles of snow is all anyone can see.

Senior year of college my friend A and I were serving as interns at a non-profit, whiling away the time before we graduated. Now, as anyone who was a college student in the New England area knows - "spring semester" is a misnomer. There is about 2 months of spring during that 'spring semester' and the rest of it is usually smeared with frozen slush of varying shades of brown, white, and gray.
I feel like I could say this about most winters in Massachusetts, but that winter there had been a blizzard of EPIC proportions. Still, A and I trekked through the snow to get to our internship site - it was about a 10 min walk from the main campus, and then followed by a 25 min bus ride into town. Let it be known that had A not been with me I probably never would have tried to go in alone.

Thinking back on it now only bits and pieces of the scene can be thawed from memory. All I know was that it was there was a down pour and everything was covered in sleet, or humongous puddles of barf-like snow. I'm not sure why we didn't call a cab that night as we left the office, or why I didn't think to just call the college security officer to come get us - maybe we were just brazen and bold.... more like foolish and stubborn..

"Oh geezus it's a shit show out here.." Shortly after leaving the front entrance of the office my wheelchair began to slide effortlessly towards the curb. I tried desperately to slam on the joy stick and get it to turn away, but I could feel and hear the wheels turning uselessly beneath me.
"Ummm I think I need help?" I looked back and saw that A was trying to make his way around what looked like moon craters "Yeah.. uhh hang on a second, I'm coming!" 

After what seemed like an eternity we made it to the bus stop. We sat silently on the rest of the way back to campus, maybe we were both silently wishing that the rain would let up once we got out - or that one of us would come up with a brilliant plan. Sadly, when the bus reached our stop neither of those things had happened.
None of the side walks had been properly cleared or even attempted to be cleared of the icy slush. I often found myself tail spinning into snow banks or finding myself ankle deep in curb cuts that had been drowned in snow, my foot rests buried somewhere in the pile. To say that it was a mess would have been an understatement. But A was incredibly kind and patient, though I felt terrible that he kept having to turn around and drag me out of yet another snowbank. His pants were completely soaked from the frozen puddles,
"Dude, need I remind you that we're not even getting paid to go to this internship. But we definitely should have been paid to get through this disaster!" 
"When I get back to my dorm I am jumping into a hot shower. I am pretty sure my ass is frozen to the seat." I muttered, angrily slamming on the joystick again as I felt myself swivel uncertainly up a curb cut.

Many of the cloudy puddles hid the various crevices and ditches in the road. Although I am usually good about remembering the terrain and where there were sudden drops or bumps, that night I was desperate to just get INSIDE and didn't care to remember where THAT gaping hole in the sidewalk was. Which meant I often felt myself flying through mid air and then landing hard on my rear, but like I had said - every part of my body was so completely frozen at that point, it was like I was wearing a poorly insulated body cast. I felt nothing!
At long last we saw the campus in our view. A and I parted ways as he went back to his own apartment and I rushed inside of my dorm. I don't remember ever feeling so frustrated by how slowly my body seemed to move despite how quickly I wanted to be warm. All of my joints ached, my fingers and knuckles felt like mangled pipe cleaners. My legs seemed frozen into place, and I imagined that somehow my bottom half had turned into a statue - my knees did not feel like they would ever unbend themselves to save my life. Everything felt like they were permanently stuck or on the verge of fracturing. I had no idea what was going on! The dorm shower allowed my chair to be driven in and somehow I managed to crank the shower control allll the way over to the H side.

After that incident, you can be sure that I now better plan my travels when there is another snow event that seems like the apocalypse has arrived! Oh college, the things that we learn!

Posted in , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2011 Perfectly Imperfecta. Powered by Blogger.