On the night of the first Thursday after Thanksgiving break, I pranced into the library classroom with my rock of a backpack slung over my shoulder. I shot a few texts and found myself pleasantly by my lonesome. All of my good school pals were running amok in their various athletic commitments, to which I, a retired wrestler and current team manager, was not invited. Briefly, my mind flitted to afternoons after classes spent frolicking around Moriarty engaged in good ‘ol games of footy. I shook the memories off and appreciated the scene before me: the mess of empty chairs, the dark shadows cast in gloomy puddles, the weeping of the trees outside as the wind shook their moribund leaves. Man, thought I, I sure do love winter!

It was upon that happy conception that I flipped my tattered notebook open so as to unleash the ray of sunshine which was my homework before me. Watching the pages of notes limp by, I could almost envision the childlike sheen of the notebook’s front cover when I had selected it from the lustrous shelves of Staples over the summer, as though accepting the perfect bundled newborn from an amenable Stork. Neither it nor I could have anticipated how the passing of the seasons would erode its polished corners, its aromatic pages. Who but Winter herself can foresee what her tides may bring? How delightfully capricious winter is, indeed!

Having procured my wrinkled homework, I flourished a pencil in the air with a twirl. The muddied pink eraser was sunken and stubby from unremitting work, but I willed it to persevere. Slumped over the tenebrous spiral of physics problems, my train of thought rolled into September station, recalling a vigor for assignments that had long since passed on to a better place. I breathed in the fresh winter air and at once jumped with delight. How it chilled me to the core! How it starved my lungs' expectations! What greater time is there than the homecoming of the cold months as they greet us with such incorrigible warmth!

At last, I afforded a glance out the window. Drear had engulfed its panes with swaths of gray fog. To my delight, an all-consuming darkness had usurped the sky! At 4 p.m.! What better weather could there be? What better times? Before me, the shadows assembled in what struck me to resemble a choir. They seemed to dance in place to a requiem which I could not myself hear. Yet still their song passed through me like a ghost: Exam week, crooned they, exams! I found myself reciting a familiar thought, trekking a well-worn trail: Man, I sure do love winter!