Heavy Lifting

Lorris turned the key in the garage door lock, and I pulled the door up. Look, said Lorris. Icicles, he said. They were hanging from the metal runner on the bottom.

There were three shovels in the back of the garage and Lorris picked two, grasping each at its center to test the weight. He handed me the longer one, the slightly heavier one, for breaking up ice patches. He was too small for that. Then we closed the garage door.

Outside, on Avenue R, the snowdrifts went up as high as the information boxes on the bus stop poles. The fire hydrants were completely buried. We tried to put our boots in the few sets of footsteps in the middle of the street. If we dug down we’d be walking on the double yellow line. But the plows weren’t out this early. I carried the shovel on my shoulder, blade up. Lorris dragged his behind him. Every once in a while he’d pick it up to knock off the snow sticking to the end.

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