Thursday, January 12, 2006

Snow place like home

The snowman melted. "Oh no, not this again." Soon all that would remain would be two twiggy arms, a carrot and two lumps of coal. He sighed, "Here I go disappearing again."

It had been a totally different story at the Christmas party. There he was very together and solidly the centre of attention. Everyone was magnetically drawn to him, or so it seemed. As they stood around admiring him, his icy colouring contrasted with their little black cocktail dresses and tuxes. He was right in the centre of the "In" crowd. Mind you, the only people he actually knew there were the little ice cubes. He nodded an imperceptible hello as they bounced up and down in excitement. They were in the highest of spirits to be found swimming in some Jack D and Coke. He preferred Cosmopolitans himself.

Yes, he was the flavour of the month alright. All the girls were posing hanging off him, while he worried slightly about the melting effects of a hundred digital cameras going off in his face. Like a menopausal woman, he worried about hot flashes. But at least he didn't have any worries about red eye. "Coal-black baby, that's me."

He enjoyed being the centre of attention, even if no-one was exactly talking to him. More about him...or around him. But that was very close to being popular and that was good enough for him. He waited all year for this - party season. It was easy to feel in the middle of the action when it was going on all around him. Hot bodies, pumping music, mistletoe over every door. He could do with a bit of mistletoe over his head, he thought to himself. Romance was happening all around him. He could watch it, hear songs about it, overhear lovers' conversations. But nobody ever saw the snowman in that way.

"Truth is I don't see myself that way," he thought. Yes, romance had always eluded him. But then again maybe he eluded it. "I'm so out of my depth at these high-class parties," he thought to himself, "But if I hang out with my own kind I feel kindof inferior by association." He was caught between a rock and a cold place.

"But I'm so much in demand here," he tried to justify it, "and the money's good too. It's just a shame that it leaves me feeling so empty afterwards. I feel like I disappear as soon as I'm out of the limelight." Ironic considering how much the party organisers tried to keep him out from under the glare of the hot lights. A melted snowman went from a neat party feature to a health hazard in a matter of seconds.

The snowman was always trying to keep one foot in each camp - his natural environment and the glamorous party scene. And he didn't even have any feet. Still, it was an uncomfortable proposition for any snowman, let alone one who didn't have a clue how to forge a deep relationship with someone in his sphere.

"I just want to feel settled. I want to feel comfortable in my own snow. And be able to be real with a snow-woman," he sighed. He went through this loop every new year. Once the parties were over and nothing had fulfilled him, he just started to melt away in disappointment.

His self esteem was trickling away and creating a small ice rink around him. His shoulders sagged and his head got closer and closer to the ground. His carrot was looking decidedly droopy.

Suddenly he became aware of a buzzing around his head. "Ohh no, one too many Cosmopolitans," he sighed. But the buzzing turned into humming and the humming into singing and soon there was a surround-sound opera at full pelt. "Where on earth is that coming from...?" He looked down to see a red squirrel with a tiny pair of ice skates doing figures of eight around him.

"Watcha!" yelled the squirrel, "I love this! This is brilliant!"
The snowman regarded the squirrel with disdain. He much preferred the company of humans to animals. Even if the humans never did speak to him.
"Weeeeeeeee! Oooooooh!"squealed the squirrel, "This is amaaaazzzzzinnn'!"
If the snowman had been in possession of an eyebrow he would have raised it.
"Oh really?"
"Yeeeaaaah! It's faaaantaastic!" the squirrel leapt in the air, span 360 degrees and almost landed on his feet. BOOM he hit the ice hard and slid on his face over to the snowman's chest which stopped him abruptly.
"OOh what do you keep in your chest?" asked the squirrel," Any cokes in there? I LOVE coke."

"Humph you seem to LOVE everything," replied the snowman, "do you LOOVE falling on your face in public?"

The squirrel sat up on his haunches and scratched his head. "Hmmm. Never thought about that before. Actually I don't mind it. I don't mind it at all. I'd rather fall on my face occasionally than never try to do a 360. When I get it right, it's aaammmaazzziinnn'" the squirrel grinned. "Seriously, got any coke? I'm parched with all this ice dancing."

The snowman cracked open his freezer chest and handed over a Diet Coke, "I'm watching my weight," he explained to the squirrel. And sagged closer to the ground. The squirrel took a long swig of the coke, burped loudly and asked
"Do you ever have any fun?"

"Of course," the snowman replied. "I go to parties. I'm a feature. People take photos."

"Oh and you enjoy that do you? It makes you feel aliiiivve, like me when I'm skating?" the squirrel skated backwards in a circle to illustrate his point.

"Well actually I feel a bit down after it's all over. And I sortof start to melt away. There just doesn't seem to be any point to going on." The snowman sank down even closer to the ground.

The squirrel stopped abruptly on the edges of his skates, creating a tiny little spray of ice. He looked at the snowman thoughtfully.
"Well I think you should stop all that partying with humans and hang out with those who are going to talk to you and not just about you. That's only going to erode your confidence."

The snowman nearly turned into an icicle. That was just the best advice he'd heard all year. Even if it was only the 8th of January.

"You know I keep doing the same things year after year and always expecting it to make me happy, even though it never does. I hang out with a crowd that don't really know me...and all I really want is to find something that I love." The snowman
was having an epiphany. "And someone."

"Funny you should mention that", said the squirrel, "but you see that cute snow woman over in the next field? Well she sent me over here to talk to you. To break the ice if you will. Perhaps you should send her over a diet coke..." The squirrel grinned.


Blogger Ash said...

Dear Adele,

You are a fabulous writer! I enjoyed reading all your stories! You should definietly publish a book! Love you loads,
Ash x

6:00 AM  

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