“Is it just miserable out?” the barista asked, smile slathered in warmth and charm.
I knew I was supposed to say yes, or at least I presumed “yes” was what one said in such small talk situations.
“Pretty much. It’s winter out,” I replied.
He poured my coffee. Another barista, looking more the part than the first, took my money. I doctored my drink and thought, “It can’t be miserable out. Out has no misery. It’s just winter being winter. How can anything be miserable being exactly what it is?” The words played and parried. I sipped and doctored again and stirred and sipped.
They’d forgotten my croissant.
It’s not miserable out. Cold for Central Texas? Yes. Cold for winter in Central Texas? Not at all. It’s just winter being winter. And we need the winter. It helps regulate the mosquitos folks will gripe about in coming months (myself included, as I, apparently, am one of “those people” they find especially tasty.) I believe, although I couldn’t say where I got the notion, that more chill hours is one of the factors of a spectacular showing of wild flowers in Aprilish.
I do hope the ice farther north in the state didn’t zap any early blossoms for farmers of stone fruit or other delicately disposed food or finance sources.
But no, Barista, sir, it is not just miserable out. I found the thin veneer of ice on my car this morning quite quaint and slightly magical.