I vowed this year would be my best, but instead it had been godawful, just terrible, maybe the worst since my brother up and died on me, in that cold ward at the Kaiser Permanente, six years before.

Winter and Serge

For a while now, the weather report had suggested things were going to warm up, to thaw. The winter had dragged on hesitantly, and although the skies had recently given way to brighter shades of blue, the temperatures had taken a plunge deeper, like the season had gained sentience and dug in claws made of ice.