Going outside today is like having an ice cube stick to your skin. Everything is damp from very little rain, and the steely gray sky presses on the treetops. The landscape goes vague at a quarter mile, and then vanishes just beyond that. Snow now seems likely. Everything smells of the drifting wood smoke that curls from chimneys and stovepipes. I hear cars passing along the road to the west as shoppers rush home from the stores. A single squirrel darts across the shiny pavement of my street, eager to get underground before nightfall. Birds are already gone from the early dusk. I can feel the heat leaving my head, and my frozen breath lingers in the still air. I expect to hear someone speaking Russian. Time to go indoors.