This donkey will not survive the polar vortex. Her eyes are bugging out of their sockets, frozen and hard as marbles. She migrated north—unwisely—sick of a carefree lifestyle. This exceptional donkey with piercing blue eyes will never die, no—she’s a pretty woman in a straw hat with flowers in her hair, who just happens to be a donkey. I swear to you, brother, I am hearing angels singing somewhere. My space heater is singing to me. I should throw it out, the thing is a firetrap, it buzzes so badly it squeaks across the floor like the Brave Little Toaster. Patton Serial #B102 sing me to sleep. This morning my hair froze into bitter red sticks of icy licorice, crab-walking across mottled bits of snow, ice, and dog piss/shit on Baltimore’s Guilford Ave. to get food. There’s a park near my apartment that’s been glowing phosphorescent yellow for days. This dog piss hell is probably dedicated to someone who died young. So I keep on, with a scarf around my face and big alien eyed sunglasses doing my best to look like Boba Fett as my hair starts to freeze and needle me in the face.
But I have no right to complain. There are no ice floes around here and it’s not 70 degrees below zero. Jesus, man wasn’t meant to live in the cold. Why couldn’t we find somewhere warmer to live like Mexico, where the donkey resides in her heavenly purple bungalow, pouring us margaritas and making us tea. She’s out there but she won’t stay up. Or the Wild West. I am being cooked alive in a microwave by the Patton space heater I inherited from the Reagan administration, the way it creaks, the drone starts sounding like angels as you fall asleep. I’m selfishly hiding in my room, reading, sucking heat from the street lamps outside and into the industrial strength microwave that keeps me sweating all year long and makes me feel a little bit irradiated, a little grayer and gaunt.
This weather is so much fun when it has the blockbuster name Polar Vortex: it’s like naming hurricanes to make them seem like adorable babies. Hurricane Katrina or Sandy is a psychological necessity. Storm Motherfucker. I like talking about the weather. The weather, she treats me well. I don’t have to plow or shovel snow, wear eight layers of gloves, or keep a box of things to take when a tornado takes my building away. I have it relatively easy, though not as good as donkey. I have no bungalow to keep me from Super Storms or watching the Super Bowl, no roses in my hair. But oh boy do these gadgets and points that don’t even exist do they get me going. I’m happy in the microwave in here, no roses in my hair.
—Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER1992