PROMPT : “Think of the word “cold”. What does it connote to you? Do you think of being sick or a cold climate? Have you ever known a cold person? Can you imagine how cold feels? Have you ever taken a cold shower or gone for a swim in icy cold water? Do you have memories or experiences that you associate with cold? If you could live anywhere you wanted, would you live in a cold place? If so, where would it be? Describe it. if you dislike cold, why? What is it about cold that you don’t like?”
From The Scriptwriter’s Journal
Mary C. Johnson
Cold . Ice. The fridge. Bananas in the fridge that should really be eaten soon. Cold is Nairobi in July. Its grey and rainy weather- and it’s my fingers freezing even when I have warm clothes on.
Cold is shivering, right now, as I sit on this mat outside, and the sun keeps coming out then going behind the fat grey clouds. Cold means my bed is warmer too- and that I sleep better at night so my insomnia bouts recede.
When I think of the word cold, I think climate. About a cold person? I recall some woman on one morning call-in show on radio. She called and spoke of how she burnt her step-son’s gonads so that he would be the impotent one and her sons would instead carry her husband’s genes onwards. She spoke with no remorse at all in her voice- she in fact seemed very proud of what she’d done. That was the coldest person ever- and I am glad I’ve never met her.
Can I imagine how cold feels? Yes I can and I absolutely hate it! I love warm weather and avoid cold weather at all costs. I remember taking cold showers in school and I hated them. I would never willingly swim in cold water but last semester, I joined the campus swimming team (just to learn swimming) and one of the training days happened to be a pretty cold evening. I was determined to make it work if only to not quit at one more difficult thing and so in I went. The water was super cold the moment I got in but once I started swimming, I enjoyed it all the more since being inside the water felt warmer than outside!
If I could choose to live in a place, it would definitely not be a cold place. I love warmth and the many activities I can do outdoors. Even when I’m chilling out around the house, I love to sit outside and watch life going on. And luckily all coastal homes we’ve lived in had verandahs where someone could recline and enjoy a cool breeze in the heat. I love warm places- with a beach preferably.
I’ve never really understood why I hate cold so much-I always just assumed it was the feeling; but now that I think about it, cold reminds me or many bad experiences in my life.
It reminds me of living in Kapkoiga- which was about an hour’s drive to town- and another walk to my school. Kapkoiga was a really cold place and it sucked even more that I had to wake up too early to get to school on time. The morning air used to be very thin and it hurt the inside of my nostrils just inhaling it. It’s like when you have flu and you squeeze your nose so often it gets red and burns each time you touch it; that’s how breathing the morning air felt like. Also, no matter how warm I’d dressed, I was never warm enough.
Cold also reminds me a lot of high school and having to shower and rush to morning preps which I absolutely abhorred!
Nowadays though, gauging from my recent experiences with cold, it mostly reminds me of peaceful and restful days both in Nairobi and in Wundanyi- my aunt’s place where I settled after a fallout with my mom. Cold reminds me of days I could sit in the house in warm socks, a blanket, a flask of hot tea on the side and movies at watching pleasure. I have fond memories of walking outside, barefooted on the rare sunny days, just to lie on the grass with my eyes closed so I could feel the sun could glow red on my eyelids.
So now, cold kind of calms me in strange, peaceful ways and reminds me of how very little things can become great comforts. It reminds me of how gently warm the sun can be after a period of frigidness.