In My Ohio

​On What Happened When the Cold Wouldn't Leave

Darren C. Demaree
​I am writing this from the northwest corner of my basement. This is the portion of the house that is mine now. I needed the computer. I needed the space heater next to it. There is a bathroom close enough that when my expediency or bravery rises I could make it past the cat, which now owns the carpet from the bottom of the stairs to the bathroom door. I am in an ideal position to write this column, but eventually I will need to eat. I will have to jump from the couch to the bottom stair, and hope that the kitchen is clear all the way to the fridge.
The dogs own the kitchen, but if they are asleep next to the heating vent, I should be able to grab water and a jar of peanut butter before they wake up. The real danger is that my wife might see me from her couch in the living room. She has all of the blankets, and that means she has a significant amount of power. She is also angry that I chose the computerland over sharing the couch with her. I love her, but since Ohio is more snarl than state right now, I needed a connection to the outside world. I would have stayed with her, both for warmth and because in these times, and you shouldn’t leave your loved ones behind, but the children took off with the iPad.
I can hear the children now. They are up in my daughter’s room with the radio on, Lion King playing, and a princess microphone in use at all times. My daughter has claimed the house to rightfully be hers. She has the high ground. She swiped the diaper bag, which is full of granola bars, and the crumbs of a million goldfish crackers. Her rhetoric is frightening me, as she claims the cold has come because the leadership of the house has failed to protect us from such forces. She has blamed me directly. My son has been chanting my name in a low growl.
The two bedrooms and the other bathroom have been picked over for their resources, and are now a wasteland. I remember the times I spent there before the cold quite fondly, but there is no reason to go there now. The backdoor, which once led to an epic deck built around a tree, a nice yard, and a brick grill has been frozen shut. I don’t know what is left back there.
My only real regret from this whole week is that I chose my socks poorly. I grabbed my grey socks with mustaches on them on Tuesday because they struck a silly chord in me that day. Now, I have named all of the mustaches, and created a back-story for all of them. They have become too important for me to keep on my feet, and now my feet are cold.
These are all issues I will have to confront when the oppressive weather begins to relent, but for now, I will keep my headphones on and lay low with what I’ve got. Eventually, we will all move freely again, we will unite as a family and we will emerge from the house as a family. I believe that a steady sun will heal us all.