Autobiography in a Blizzard

by Jane Moneypenny

The man is diligent about his shoveling. For the last 20 minutes, I’ve been watching him out the 3rd floor window in my cubicle. In the short few weeks I’ve been at this job, the man across the street has meticulously shoveled those steps each storm we’ve had. In the 6.5 years I’ve been in St. Louis, I’ve never seen snow come down as hard as it is now, but he pushes on. Is there a point of shoveling stairs in a blizzard?

People watching is something bound to happen when you have to wait around or just don’t feel like doing work. I watch him shovel and shovel and wonder if he has a job that allows snow days. Perhaps he’s a teacher. The expensive townhouse shovels in front of is a multi-family condo and a little blond girl watches him intently from the second story bay window. Is that his daughter or a random girl home from school and thinking of her own fantastic stories?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. When I was younger, the library only allowed 5 books/kid in the summer, so I would zip through the pile and beg my mom to bring me back two days later. Soon I began composing narratives in my head of my life; sometimes it’s in 1st person, sometimes in 3rd. Life is so hectic and filled with nonsensical errands of being an adult that I don’t have much time to write a real-time autobiography in my head anymore. But at times like this when the snow is thick and white on the ground and the air is quiet, I miss writing everything that comes to my head. My English teachers of the past would be proud.

And Nola, in reply to your comment, I actually am moving home for the summer until I figure our my next move. Maybe I’ll leave a box of Girl Scout cookies on my neighbor’s porch…