On Friday we had our first real cold snap of the winter—hail, maybe snow, the hills, rooftops and fields shaggy with hoarfrost. A blackbird has taken to sheltering from the storms in our hedge. Here, between feasts of red cotoneaster berries, he surveys his frigid, semi-derelict realm, turning to regard the woman behind the glass watching him from her desk.
Just think: I haven't spoken to anyone aside from my husband and mother-in-law since the weekend. I didn't celebrate our wedding anniversary. I skipped my weekly awkward phone call to Mom. I didn't do anything for Thanksgiving. I couldn't care less about Christmas lunch in Dublin. I could probably remain like this easily, in an eternal winter, solitary and vulpine, like a figure in a Remedios Varo painting, stoking hearthfires every night and reading books about post-apocalypse America. The end of the world is already here, and I'm drinking red wine in my den of books and photos, my hexes against evil and indifference.