Can you hear it? Can you hear it over the Doppler whoosh of cars down whatever your biggest cross street is?
Can you hear it over the hum of laptops, over whatever ventilation system guards you against the creeping cold?
Can you hear it over TVs, podcasts, iPad tunes or the beep beep beep of a message you’re receiving?
Can you hear the wind?
Some nights it’s loud, rattles the windows, shakes the apartment, makes you glad you’re not out in it.
But other nights it’s a lost sound, background whish against vents, laptops, Doppler cars.
It’s there, though. It’s creeping in under doorways and through slightly cracked windows. It’s crawling through vents and down the backs of unscarved necks. Unyielding, chilling, breaking to the bone, the winter wind advances.
The fog comes in on little cat feet, the man once wrote. He wrote it about this city of ours when it stacked wheat, butchered hogs — other words of his. He wrote it about a city where the shoulders were bigger than the asses, so not one we’ve seen in a while.
If that’s the fog, what of a creeping night wind? Does it crawl like a spider? Scurry like a silverfish? Wriggle like a worm? How does this thin, chilling air get in out vents, houses, bones?
How does the wind creep when it doesn’t rage?
We’ll spend the next several months in this breaking chill. It will warm and it will freeze. There will be snow and there will be melt. But this cold, tempered or raging, will be our home until spring.
So listen. Take tonight and listen. Turn off radios, laptops, space heaters and fans. Flip off the heat for just five, just so the vents don’t whir.
Listen to the wind, if you can in a city.
Take a moment and listen to the wind.