It snowed last night, Dear Reader, in the town where I live. Probably it snowed in other places too, but I wasn’t in any of those other places, so I am unable to verify this conjecture. No, I was right here, in this town which is sort of a medium-sized town, definitely not a small town but I wouldn’t say it’s quite a city either. For instance, there’s a patch of dirt under the bridge where you can park for free, and I don’t think they would allow any such thing if this were a real city. That’s where I usually park, although I didn’t last night because I was at the theatre, and after the theatre I went to a bar to meet some friends and all of the sudden everyone looked out the window and snow was falling. Actually it was swirling and capering and cavorting around beneath the street-lamps and tumbling sideways into little drifts along the curbs and nestling up against the tires of parked cars and eventually even covering the street and the sidewalk and sticking to the sides of parking meters. You should have seen it! Wow. It really was very beautiful, especially on a Sunday night when pretty much everybody was at home except for me and my friends and a few other people at the bar who kept kissing each other. Maybe Sunday night is kissing night at the bar. I’m not sure. Anyway, I don’t think the snow would have been half as beautiful and miraculous and strange and wonderful and mysterious and brave if it had been, say, a Saturday morning, or a Wednesday afternoon. I don’t know why I said that. It seems true, but maybe that’s just because I wrote it down. Am I gabbling again? That’s what snow does to me. I start running my mouth like crazy and sometimes jumping up and down. Especially when it’s super cold, which it was. The truth is I’d been waiting all winter for some snow, and there it was at last! And so I drove home slowly, of course, not wanting to cause an accident, but really I could barely contain myself, and when I got home I got in bed and snuggled way down in there and looked out the little window of my attic apartment and down onto our street, which looked as if there were a full moon shining on it. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, I turned on the Christmas lights over my little sleeping area. They’re the little white kind, the lights are, and when I moved in I arranged them carefully using thumbtacks in the particle-board ceiling. I always have Christmas lights wherever I live. I love Christmas lights, don’t you? They’re so cheery and festive! But not too cheery and festive, not garishly so. Cheery in a solemn sort of way and festive the way an etude played softly on the piano in another room is festive. Kind of tender and muted, I guess. And so I was lying there beneath the Christmas lights and looking out through the window, which was now almost covered with frost except for some little windows in the frost inside the window. I was looking out the frosty window at the blue snowlit night and I could feel a little cold air tickling my face from where it whiskered in through the cracks, and also what if there was a lovely girl at my side, Dear Reader? What if there was? I’m not saying there was, Dear Reader. I neither confirm nor deny that there was such a girl there, nor another person of any kind, however lovely and admirable. Nor will I maintain that she had on my flannel pajamas and I my long underwear and we were very nice and warm under there.
Born in Austin, Texas, and raised in Boone, North Carolina, John Crutchfield is a writer and theatre artist now based in Berlin, Germany. His poems, essays, translations and reviews have appeared in a variety of journals, including *Shenandoah*, *Seneca Review*, *Southern Review*, *The Appalachian Journal*, and *Zone 3*. His one-man show, *The Songs of Robert*, won an award for Outstanding Solo Performance at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival. He has also created and performed interdisciplinary work with X Factor Dance, Sans Pointe Dance, G. Alex and the Movement, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Legacy Butoh. He has been Artist-In-Residence at the Djerassi Artists Foundation, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Association d’Art de La Napoule (France) and the Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany). At present, he serves as Associate Artistic Director of The Magnetic Theatre, teaches creative writing and drama at the Free University of Berlin, and works freelance as a literary translator. More info at: johncrutchfield.com