Snow on the trees. Covering the branches. More snow than we were expecting. Large and heavy. Wet. The car brushed off. Rooftops white. Driving slow. Slower than the speed limit through Aurora. Taquerias. Car repair shops. A hospital.

On the interstate 88. The snow limits vision. A gray haze veil. Eyes focus only on cars in front of our car. No scenery to see. Eaten by snow. Vague buildings. Outlines. Cars ahead disappear.

I am already tired, having not slept much the night before. And this relentless focus on cars and taillights is hypnotic. Music plays. He is talking in the backseat. About what he sees outside. About the birthday party for his cousin that we are coming from. About playing in the snow. Playing with his superhero toys.

My eyes swim. I rub them. Tap my cheeks with fingers. The heat from the defrost vents blow into my face. Furthering hypnotic.

To change lanes is to pass through slick slush. A loud vibration and slipping noise. A car ahead and a lane to the right. Swerving within its lane. Drifting from side to side. Windows tinted. Drifts close to us. Passes through the slush barrier. Sending the thick water onto our windshield. Blinding us. For a second. I don’t know if the car will continue and plow into us or not. Heart rate jumps. Activate wipers. The car has drifted away. I quickly pass it.

He continues his monologue. I continue my fight against sleep. This snow is beautiful. This snow is exhausting.

When we get home, we play in the yard for a few minutes. Throwing snowballs. He laughs. Finally a proper fall.

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