March 2014

Page 50

(page 48) MARCH 2014


Instead, I just went on Facebook and saw all my California friends posting pictures of sunsets and beaches, and I imagined myself ripping their camera out of their warm, tan little hands …

bio: Tracy Kirby’s roots and heart are in the Hawaiian Islands, but destiny has led her to the prairie. She is a wandering traveler, a wife to a dashing Sioux Falls native, a mother to a 2-year-old daughter and 145-pound bear puppy, a freelance writer, and a lover of souls.

FROM THE “INSIDE” Hi, it’s me. I’m sending a secret message from the inside. And when I say inside, of course I mean the inside of … Prison. Yes, I’m in prison. I’ve been here since about October, and I’m not sure how long my sentence will be. Some say April, but I think that estimate is blindly optimistic. If my last sentence is any indication, my release back into society could be as prolonged as late May. That is, if I’m lucky. At this point, my chance at freedom feels like the Broncos 2014 Superbowl performance: Dismal at best. So, where am I imprisoned and who

Illustration by Liz Long.

put me here? Well, if you can believe it, I am a prisoner in my very own home. And I was wrongly put here by none other than the hellacious, ruthless Winter. That’s right, I am in Winter Prison. You may be saying, “Okay, Tracy, likening prison and winter is a bit extreme.” And to that I respectfully answer: No. I will tell you what is extreme; negative 40 degree windchill! Days on end with no sun. Every tree looking like a naked, looted creature with gaping battle wounds from last winter. Wind practically ripping the paint off your car. Children afflicted with winter ill-

nesses for weeks and months. And the cold that literally freezes your feet to the tundra! Now, those things? Those things are extreme. Speaking of extreme, are the weather reports not extremely depressing/hilarious lately? I have never in my life heard of a one-syllable temperature being described as a “warm-up”. And, yes, thank you Mr. Weatherman for adding “bitter” to your description of the cold—as if any of us needed a reminder. And my true favorite is when we are given a Winter Weather “Advisory,” when in fact Mr. Weatherman should

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