All of Main Street shut down. As far as the eye could see, bundled people sat closely together in chairs and on blankets, shivering and hanging on tightly to Thermos containers. Small children with costumes pulled tight over snowsuits and boots clamored for candy, whilst wiping snot from their dripping noses onto their coat sleeves. Costumed pets ran in circles around their owners’ legs, attempting to trip everyone in their leashes’ radii.
Storefronts and apartment-building lobbies alike filled with unexpected guests, hoping to share in the warmth. Any warmth. Coffee-shop lines grew exponentially as the temperatures dropped and wee ones lost interest in free candy and turned their parents’ attention, via screams, to almost-frostbitten phlanges.
As the parade neared its start time, the wind pulled back and then blew like it hadn’t blown all evening, this time bringing a stinging sleet, pelting everything in its sight. The people in the chairs. The people on the blankets. The Thermos containers. The small children covered in snot. The hyperactive dogs, running in circles. Even representatives of the Republican Party Headquarters and their table of American flags, tiny powdered doughnuts (the symbol of America) and apple cider. No one, no thing could escape.
Except the hundreds of people who tried to cram into all of the storefronts and apartment-building lobbies, who suddenly thought watching a parade from behind a glass pane and out of the cold, cold night seemed like a brilliant idea.
Not me. I opted to go to Chipotle. No cold. No sleet. Nothing but wholesome, burrito goodness.