Thoughts on Cold, or, Hot and Cold: Extended Metaphor

It is a cold day; it has been raining all morning, without any indication of stopping anytime soon. Yet the cold only affects the skin, the nerves, the outside; on the inside, it is a different sort of cold: Schopenhauerian, one that only lessens during a heated moment, when life, if only for a brief glimpse, is warm, for this sort of warmth is dependent on others. This inserts complications severalfold into an individual’s internal climate: inner warmth, after all, is never a product of the Self; rather, it is generated through emotional, intellectual, psychological and social friction: people’s minds, hands, hearts, backs, chests, arms, legs, fingers and genitals rubbing against each other.

This presents one particular irony of situations, one that may seem simple enough when subjected to the essentialism of brevity, but is complicated simply by the fact that it contains that single unpredictable factor of other people: those individuals the Self has taken to (warming up, so to speak) have frozen over, with nothing left except for shoulders, stares and wars. Suddenly, friends are no different from strangers: frost-lined brows, stone faces, shallow laughter and all.

And, pray tell, what happens when one warms up to another who just so happens to have warmed up to them? That is, perhaps, the closest we can get to a linguistic definition of the multi-leveled, multiplicitous social phenomenon that people have contained into a single Pandora’s Box of a word: love.


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