The sharp, icy air first hits my cheeks as I wrap my flimsy scarf tighter around my neck. I stuff my hands into my jacket pockets and instantly regret not having put on my gloves. A chill runs through my entire body. It is shocking, painful and energizing, all at once.
I put my head down and forge through the whipping wind. I inhale deeply and quicken my steps. The cold, fresh oxygen seems to pierce my brain. My eyes water, my nose runs and my fingertips are like stiff popsicles within the confines of my wool pockets. Each step feels interminable. My heart pumps obediently, yet not fast enough to circulate blood to my extremities. Within seconds, I cannot feel my toes.
I briefly lift my head out of the frigid darkness to catch a glimpse of friendly, glowing light. I push ahead with newfound determination.
Just a few more steps! You can do it!
The door slides open. Panting, I spill into the warmth.
A plump, midwestern woman with kind eyes smiles at me. “Have a nice evening naoow!”
“Zzzzpppffflllltthankyou,” I shiver back at her. Somehow, I manage to crack my frozen face into a feeble smile.
I have survived the jetway.