You’d think growin’ up on the streets would mean gettin’ used to this kind of cold. But I don’t think ye ever really get used to it.

I’m sittin’ here at “home” in me room, just starin’ oot the window. I can see the condensation freezin’ on the glass. Maybe it rained. Or maybe the glass froze over, melted, and will freeze again.

I can hear the wind whippin’ through the trees. It’s whisperin’ to me of winter in that quiet, lonely way all winter breezes have. It’s different than summer winds. Summer breezes make me think of lakeside parties an’ bonfires. Winter makes me think of lonely walks in the forest, standin’ outside lit houses in the snow and watchin’ the lives within, not quite believein’ they could be real. Like readin’ a story, but … not. Like watchin’ a performance, only those people bein’ watched had no idea they were actors in me own personal play.

In an odd way, winter’s loneliness is … gentle. Not really lonely in a way that makes ye wanna cry, but lonely in a way that makes ye wanna sit quietly and just … be. Just listen. Just enjoy the silence of a sleepin’ world. I may not be makin’ much sense, cuz how could loneliness be a good thing? But I ent got no other way of describin’ it.

And yet, it’s still sad in its own way. Abandoned. even when ye know it’ll all be spring again soon enough, winter is the season when people get forgotten. It’s a complicated season, and it’s all born of the cold.

There’s no cold like winter cold. It can be so cold it’s painful, workin’ its way into yer body like blades and eatin’ away at yer bones. Or it can be a snowy cold. Crisp and fresh, not icy, not warm, but bearable. Refreshin’, almost, with that snowy scent in the air. Cuz snow does have its own scent, and don’t let nobody tell ye different.

Why am I thinkin’ aboot all this tonight? I guess I’m just in a mood. I ent feelin’ very good. Got a headache, and my heart is sad. I can’t say why. Maybe I’m just watchin’ the cold too much.

I’m glad I got one spark to cling to, though. I, the Southside urchin, am loved.

I know, I don’t quite believe it either.

But it’s true. And knowin’ that makes the cold just a pretty thing to reflect on, rather than a constant companion this winter.

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