It crept for hundreds of miles through the Midwest, like a Frenchman in The Great War crawling through barbed wire, stifling cries of skin ripping pain to maintain surprise; praying to survive long enough to kill.
The Sears Tower-high wall of hate whispering cold rose to its knees near Six Flags as it slogged towards the Windy City. She heralded her own arrival with pulsing daggers of iced air that swirled like deadly tumbleweeds down empty canyons.
All crime, all breakdown in society that was so common in Chicago stopped dead in its tracks. The cold was everyone’s antagonist now, it was the corrupt city power broker, the corner-repping homeboy who shoots indiscriminately to prove he’s a man to people he doesn’t know, the lazy judge who convicts based on ethnicity, the stalled car on the Kennedy at 745 am, the guy who screams at you for being a cheap Jew when you don’t give him enough change.
Nothing else existed except one people and their one enemy. 8 million promising each other to not die and that promise being enough to keep them alive for a day – and that day of survival, of cohesion in the face of a cacophony of numb, burning pain, was enough. That was enough for them to subconsciously paint a memory of how January felt, a mural laid over top the city, one old men would feel in their cuticles decades from now.