20 April 2009

Coming In Out of the Cold

Just when I thought I could go anywhere, any time, with nothing between my legs and the world but a couple of microns of nylon, I experienced this day.

I've been out on much colder days than today in sheer pantyhose. But today the cold went straight to my bones, or so it seemed. Maybe today felt even colder than some days we had in January and February because we had warm weather on Friday and Saturday and mild weather yesterday. However, the temperature did drop quickly: I could feel the difference between the time I got on the subway to go to my opthamologist and when I emerged from the station at 23rd Street and Broadway half an hour later. And the wind drove the rain, which became needles that bored the chill into bare and nearly bare skin.

I arrived early for my appointment, so I went to a nearby Walgreen's drug store, where I bought a pair of opaque tights. Actually, I bought four pairs--two black, one each in navy and ivory--because they were on sale at two pairs for five dollars. I ducked into the bathroom of a nearby coffee shop to change; it helped. After that, if the weather wasn't pleasant, at least the cold was tolerable.

Are my hormones surging? I got giggly with Dominick yesterday and was crying last night when I thought about returning to the college. And, I noticed that a couple of my bras seem to fit tighter than they'd previously fit: Could it be that my breasts are growing again?

Now the cold today...At least I'm come in out of it now.

In this life, in this life, in this life,
In this, oh sweet life:
We're (we're coming in from the cold);
We're coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in),
coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in),
Coming in from the cold.

So begins my second-favorite song in the world. Who but Bob Marley could have written or performed it? One wonderful thing about this verse is that it so deftly weaves hope to the difficulties that made him/her seek that hope. There's no doubt that this person wants to live and to love. The song exhorts listeners to the same:

It's you - it's you - it's you I'm talkin' to -
Well, you (it's you) - you (it's you) - you I'm talking to now.
Why do you look so sad and forsaken?
When one door is closed, don't you know other is open?

So what do we learn? Cold kills, but it is not a reason for despair. How can it be, if coming in from it is the first step toward survival--in an profoundly spiritual as well as in a literal sense? I would never have known the joy of becoming myself, of becoming Justine, had I not spent so many years living as someone else.

So what did I learn today from feeling the cold? That it is possible to come in, out of the cold--even if you're outdoors on a cold, windy, rainy day with nothing more than a thin pair of pantyhose on your legs!