We asked the sun to return, but she's walking in the skyfields far to the south, and ignores us. Her secretarial staff tells us we've made our request in due form, but there's no telling gods what to do: she'll come back in her own sweet time.
The waitress in the restaurant up the street hikes up her skirt and sits astride me to take my order, rocking absent-mindedly while she writes it up. Dismounts and pats my chest affectionately. To her I'm ancient, harmless, an old dog gone in the teeth. I find to my horror that my voice has gone high and quavery, and my hands shake. I'll never do massage again.
The sky goes iron-gray, then darker, darker, to ice-black, and the snow hisses, blowing in my face like fine white sand. It stings my face and my eyes horribly, but it does melt, after a moment, and runs down to clot in my mustache and beard. I shamble home in the dark.
The snow lies in thick drifts over the furniture and the books and the piles of paper. I lie down on couch, which stirs it up: it swirls high above me. I am tiny. I'm lying at the bottom of my grandmother's snow-globe. Of course. We've come to Grandma's for Christmas. A fire roars in the hearth of her big, square-built, Illinois house. Slowly the snow settles back down on me, in huge, comforting flakes. Warm. Getting warm at last.