Oh God, it snowed, thought Will Tomlinson, as he looked out from his apartment's frost-encrusted window. How he hated snow in the city.
In the sticks, where he had grown up, snow was different: it always looked like something out of a Currier & Ives print, like a white bedspread that belonged there, covering the sleeping fields and hibernating trees. But snow in the city was an alien presence, he knew, having already survived two winters in this Northeastern metropolis. It was a physical intrusion, one that filled up precious space with something outrageously impractical, even dangerous.
All night he had alternated tossed and turned in bed, listening to the wailing, window-rattling storm--the "Nor'easter" as they call it in this part of the country. He had hoped it would only rain, but had suspected he'd have some digging out to do in the morning. His apartment building had no garage, and he parked on the street.
"My poor car," he thought.
Now it was the infamous "day after," and he would have to don his parka--his spacesuit, as he thought of it--and venture out into the great white aftermath. He'd have to dig his little Chevy from where he presumed it was now embedded in the snow.
Outside, the familiar street in front of his apartment building had vanished; in its place was a rutted, grayish-white trail. (If it was a darker color, it would look like a damned dirt road, he thought.) What had once been a hectic city neighborhood was now as hushed and still as he imagined the cities around Chernobyl must have been after the disaster. Although it was afternoon, the light from the dull, aluminum sky was feeble. And all he could hear was the soft crunching and sifting of a few men shoveling and,