After I didn’t fall out of the sky when my plane had an emergency landing, my friend and I sat in her living room with just the tree lights on drinking wine in the middle of a snow storm. You couldn’t see much outside except that white snow mounded everywhere, covering the sharp edges. It was minus something but with the wind chill -40, which I learned is the same in Celcius and Farenheit. Two cats, one all white and one all black, curled up beside us or under the tree. It smelled like apple cider–cinnamon, cloves, cardamom. Blue lights, red lights, yellow lights. Wrapped presents.
My friend said to me that when the Jian Gomeshi news broke, she kept remembering sexual assaults; they were like zombies breaking out of the ground. She had one of those moments where things suddenly got clearer–she realized that when women get violated, mostly it’s just another event in a long line of assaults. We get away as best we can, we brush off, we probably don’t report it (because who in their right mind wants what would happen then?), we may not even think of it for long because it’s happened so many times before. We just go on. We’re women. That’s what we do. We go on.
The white cat started climbing the trunk of the Christmas tree. My friend shooed her away. The cats went outside though I thought they’d freeze like cattle in Alberta fields, from their feet up. I told my friend that I had a cat once in Cochrane and I slammed the door too fast during a cold snap and her tail broke off. Verushka, her name was. The cats came back in and weren’t frozen anywhere. We refilled our wine glasses. For a long time, we talked about divorce court, but then after all that, we didn’t want to pour more wine; we just had to go to bed.