My coat is too lightweight for the weather. I’m rushing Spring. It reminds me of Mom at Lea’s soccer games. Half numb, fingers stinging, we’d hurry off the sidelines to the car, where we’d fight for space in front of the heat vents as the car warmed. Cool air would blow. “This is the worst,” Mom said. “I hate it.” The way she said, “hate” made it sound like the letter ‘T’ was eating everything.
“This is to the bone cold, girls,” she’d say. As I walked the five steps today from the Starbucks exit to my car, I said, “This is the worst,” then I smiled remembering Mom and the soccer sidelines, and how we bonded in the suffering.
The only thing that fixes this cold, she said, is a hot bath or shower. “It’s the only way.” She might’ve said, “Coffee, too.” That’s how I imagine her, inside our kitchen, the jewel-colored itchy scarf and nubby Vermont hat, hands around a cup of something hot and brown, gloves still on. Oddly, I now love being miserably cold because it makes me feel close to my mother, who now lives in Florida.