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Frozen World

I am standing on the sidewalk.

I am standing on the sidewalk. It is cold. I know that it is cold, at
least, but I don't feel it. I exhale, and watch my breaths come out
very slowly, in thick white puffs that twist and turn before
disappearing into the cold air. I look at the world through the veil
of my own breath. I take a step, and hear a sudden crack- a leaf
breaks into tiny little pieces that dance and whirl under my feet. It
is snowing very lightly, but I hear it anyway. I hear every little
snowflake fall and hit the ground. It is a wonderful, musical pattern,
a simple symphony of nature. I turn my hearing upward, and I hear the
roar of the engines of the plane passing overhead. I turn it downward,
and I hear every bug crawling on the ground. I am blissfully aware of
everything around me. I gaze upon the world with the wonder of a
newborn and the wisdom of an old man.
I look around me, and I am standing in a frozen world. Everything is
perfectly immobile. My mind reels at the thought that I had never
noticed this before- aside from the occasional flutter of movement,
the world stands still. As I walk, the panorama of the world glides
past me, still unmoving. I inhale the fresh, cold air, and walk, with
tiny icicles falling all around me. The trees jut out from the ground,
grabbing at the sky with intricate webs of branches. I stand and
marvel at how beautiful the trees look. I look up, and a bird appears
in the sky. Then there are five, circling the sky in a perfectly
choreographed dance. Then there is a cloud of birds, all flapping
their wings in perfect unison, and there are none. Some people pass me
on the street, and for a split second I see their facial expressions,
frozen in place. They are gliding past me- their legs are not moving,
and they fit into the frozen world perfectly.
I go inside. It is cold, after all. It is getting dark, and
streetlights are floating in the night. From a distance, the snow and
ice look even more beautiful, making incredible patterns on the
ground, windows, cars, and trees. I take one last look. Tomorrow I
will leave this world, but it will not leave me. My eyes have been
opened to its existence- and now, I can always see it, lurking beneath
the everyday world.

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