Jack Tame: Diamonds in the snow

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Central Park, New York. Photo / AP
Central Park, New York. Photo / AP

The city fell silent and the snow fell thick.

It muffled everything, the sound and the light. New York was peaceful as a sleeping child. Together, they went to explore.

She'd arrived in the city ill prepared. Yes, she had boots, but the soles were peeling and the leather was way too thin.

She borrowed gumboots that were meant for someone much taller and watched as her toes disappeared into the rubber, four or even six sizes too big.

He took the keys and the camera in his coat pocket. They opened the door, turned to the wind, and tucked their chins to their chests.

In Central Park, the lake had frozen over and you couldn't easily determine where the path ended and the ice began. There were kids and sleds. Hats and mittens. Dogs keening on leads. Families poured in to slide and play in a little basin nearby.

They can't remember the exact spot. It was somewhere on a hill in the storm.

He'd been going on about wanting to make a snowman, so she helped him before his fingers went grey. The snow gathered in the creases of their jackets.

When the snowman was finished, he asked her to take a photo. He got down on his knees and felt the snow soak through his jeans, put his arm on the snowman's shoulder.

She took a couple of photos and then, from behind the snowman's back, he pulled out a ring.

When my friends returned to my apartment, she held out her hands and asked for help with her gloves, so as to surprise me with her finger's new addition. He stood behind her and grinned.

More snow fell in Central Park that day, than on any other day, ever.

All the cars were ordered off the roads and you could walk down the middle of Fifth Ave. Late, I trekked out into the storm for a liquor store that still had light.

When expecting visitors, you should always keep Champagne in the house.

Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB Saturdays, 9am-midday.

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- Herald on Sunday

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