So we seem to be getting some snow. Everyone’s bundling up and bumping into each other on the way to class. We are essentially amorphous blobs of winter coats waddling around campus.
Before class started, I was talking to the girl next to me about how slippery it was out there, and she said in a low voice, laughing, “Yeah, I actually saw this guy wipe out on his bike. And I don’t mean to laugh, but he did almost hit me when he zoomed by. And then he went around the corner, and I saw his tires starting to spin out, and he just went careening off the path into a bluff of snow, around the corner and out of sight.” She giggled. “I shouldn’t laugh. But I am. It was funny.”
“This is really awkward,” said this guy on the other side of the room who’d apparently but listening, “but, uh, that was me.”
By now every other conversation had screeched to a halt, bringing about this weird, tense silence like it was a standoff. We were all exchanging raised eyebrows, like, “Is this funny? Should we laugh? The longer this stretches on the weirder it gets. I’m going to let out a peel of good-natured laughter and see who follows. Come on, who’s with me?”
Finally, the girl said, “Oh,” sounding surprised and somewhat mortified, and then the silence continued, and finally she just let out this great snort of nervous laughter and said, “I am so sorry,” and then he snorted too, and suddenly everyone was laughing. It was quite merry.
And then I almost slid right into the path of an oncoming bus on my way home. It was a day full of ups and downs.