A tale of a Charleston winter


The alarm clock cuts through the silence of the early morning with a deafening buzz. I begrudgingly roll over to look out the window to asses nature’s weather report.

The sky is clear and crisp, and the sun is shining. It should be nice and warm, I think to myself as I pull shorts and a t-shirt from the drawer beside the bed. I get up and go downstairs to make some coffee before heading to class. I note the slight draft, but it isn’t a big deal, most of the buildings in Charleston are old and drafty. I finish my coffee, grab my backpack, and head out the door.

As I open the door, an arctic blast hits me and knocks the wind out of my chest. I slam the door shut. I quickly check my hands and feet for frostbite; the exposed skin is the first to go. Thankfully, everything is okay.

I walk back into the kitchen, already devising a plan to make it through the bitter cold. I could call an Über, but what if there’s ice on the road? I could hail a pedicab, but the driver would freeze too. As I sit thinking, the draft returns. I turn the thermostat up to 80 and leave a sink dripping just to be sure the pipes don’t freeze. If I didn’t have to leave for class, I would make a fire, too.

I finally decide to change into the warmest clothes I can find in my closet and brave the cold. As I adjust my light windbreaker — knowing full well it won’t save me from the deadly cold — I open the door again and another blast of cold air hits my face. A single tear spills out of my eye from sheer cold. It freezes before it reaches the ground.

I quickly close the door behind me and start to run. My toes begin to numb, and my nose starts to run. Only two more blocks! I get stopped at the light, so I jump up and down to keep myself moving to make sure the frostbite doesn’t get worse.

The light finally changes, and I break into a sprint. I can feel the cold moving up my legs. My ears are so cold I don’t think I can hear anything. Just one more block to go! King street is desolate. The light changes again as I turn the corner, but I’ve already started to lose feeling in my fingers, so I dart across the street and run through the Cistern. The freezing air rips through my throat. I can barely weeze enough to push myself into Cougar Mall.

I finally stumble into Maybank. It isn’t much warmer inside, but the wind is broken as the door closes behind me.

I walk into class, and someone from the back who is checking the weather report exclaims that the temperature has plummeted to a chilling 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

Article by Culture Editor Daniel Cramer, @danielcramer98