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A Walk in The Snow (standard:Creative non-fiction, 10118 words)
Author: AnonymousAdded: Nov 25 2006Views/Reads: 2438/1629Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This is a Chistmas story. but not the usual Christmas story. This one is set in the Bronx of the 40s on a Christmas eve, and seen through the eyes of an abused little boy.


(c) 2003 Sol Rothman All rights reserved 

Pissing on the hot steam pipe hissed into the hall, creating the acrid
odor any kid who grew up in the tenements would never forget. It gave 
me a feeling of power. It was my way to stink up their lives as they 
had done to mine. 

Never looking back, I tear-assed down the worn marble steps, intently
trying to hear if anyone was behind me. But I only heard echoes of 
myself. I escaped through the twisted, black wrought iron and glass 
doors, and out into the street, only to be stopped by a wall of rushing 
snow that filled the air in every direction. Not a footprint, not a 
mark of any kind, and it was all mine. My eyes touched the round mounds 
of softness all at the same time. 

It was The Bronx of the 1940's, a winter's twilight just before the
early rush of workers on their way home from the Simpson Street train 
station. The streets had become something else -- not the streets I 
knew. Their hard, concrete angles had begun to melt away, softened by 
the rolling snow. The world around me didn't exist anymore, only the 
intimate closeness of the untouched snow. I can still feel my child's 
feet crunching into the snow as I plowed through its building thickness 
on my way to the Boulevard. The streets were empty of traffic. What 
little there was, was silenced by the white fluff, except for the 
occasional muffled clanging of an invisible trolley. 

A flutter of animated colors on the snow drew my attention. I tried to
turn my head to see where it was coming from. My head swiveled under 
the hood of my wool jacket and all I could see was the hollow darkness 
inside. I tried repeatedly, but the jacket stood its ground and refused 
to budge. I came to the conclusion that this alien life force and I had 
to work together. So I turned my whole body and we both moved as one 
piece towards the origin of the colored lights. 

The reflecting colors were coming from a toy store window, which was
haphazardly filled with Christmas decorations. Clumps of snow were 
still clinging to the tips of my galoshes when I stepped out of the 
snow and into a slushy, marble-like vestibule between the store 

Inside one of the windows was a mechanical Santa Claus, worn and faded.
One of Santa's eyes winked as his head dropped spasmodically to his 
chest. The silent Santa, separated from his laughter, beckoned me to 
the window. And a wonderful window it was, filled with toys that my 
sister and I never ever dreamed of owning. 

In our home, we never celebrated Christmas, Chanukah, or birthdays. The
only time we ever saw any kind of a present was when either of us was 
sick, and then it would be a coloring book or a joke book. 

When I stepped back onto the street, I looked up and saw the thick,
rushing flakes falling from the sky and the wind brushed the snow 
across my face. The street lights carried the white specks to the 
ground as I continued my trek to the train station. I wore my scarf 
like a mask wrapped around my face, only showing my eyes and part of my 
nose. Breathing and re-breathing my hot wet breath sharpened the smell 
of each store as I passed by. The barber shop and its perfumed tonics. 
The deli's knishes, kishka, and its spicy garlicky salami, 
frankfurters, pastrami and corned beef. Then came the bakery where the 
cakes and breads were all freshly baked behind the swinging doors that 
led to the back of the store. I could taste the air of warm fragrances 
that played with my senses. 

Strung across the streets along Southern Boulevard, from Westchester
Avenue to Hunt's Point Palace, were crispy clear red, green and white 
lights shaped like stars, dangling above my head. They went way into 
the distance, getting brighter as they got smaller and closer together. 
The Boulevard wore them like a promise, a promise that something 
special was going to happen. 

The falling snow had shut out the sky with a gray-white, glowing haze
that surrounded the streets and touched the roof tops. It felt like 
this small section of the city had chunked away from the rest of the 

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