Indeed. These jagged crevasses of the psyche are treacherous, gray. Extending two hundred plus days in every direction; an ominous glacier of gloom, this city of whiskey and winter. I am no Shackleton, nor even Orde-Lees of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Who even knew that a predatory seal existed? Curled beneath my comforter, wife asleep beside me, son in blankets and bears, these men place Job in some sandy bliss; fruit drink in one hand, yawning, left foot in honey, right foot in butter. The puppies were skinned and eaten – taste compared to sea leopard, penguin meat! My gusty February wind leaks through poorly insulated cracks, the heating bill higher than need be. This concerns me. And the next day too. No I am no Shackleton, nor even Frank Worsley navigating the tempestuous Drake Passage with broken compass and sextant. In truth, I don’t know what a sextant is and would most likely lose it in the kitchen clutter drawer anyway. Manual long since tossed out. No I am no Shackleton, nor even the lowest of those left on Elephant Island to wait. This winter irritates me more than the abscess on Hudson’s behind. Leaves me rigid like Blackboro’s dead toes dropping one by one into the tin can beneath Dr. McIlroy’s careful snips. I admit it, on days when the slate sky threatens to push my spirit through frozen earth, I think of those men and smile. Close the book on them. Leave them on some battered ice floe in the South Atlantic to push the limits of human endurance alone.
Copyright © Peter Conners
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