I swim to the side of the pond. I sit near its bank, my toes squishing in the clay, the warm water encapsulating me. The outside air, so shrill and cold, brushes against the top of my bald head. It says with its frigid touch, "Hey, kid. You're going to be cold if you get up. It's going to be pretty miserable. You should think twice - or maybe even thrice - about all this."
So, after a moment of thought, I stand up. The wild wind beats at me. It is unrelenting. When I look back at the pond, it is no more. It is unwelcoming. I am its pariah.
A friend comes to my side. He offers me another beer, a mindful conversation of the moment, of the peculiarity of the wind. "The wind will reside," he insists. However, I think maybe he is wrong about the nature of the wind, and maybe, I reason, it is the skin that will get thicker, not the wind milder.
And again, I stare at this frigid medium. Let my heart sink to its touch. Feel it caress me further down and let it harden me. Harden to a world that is harsh, that gives no quarter, and takes no prisoners.
I shall not succumb. I shall harden. I shall draw from the fire and forge anew.