Corrigan: Braving the cold with beach-ready Ben


I’ve just got to ask: Why the hell are people wearing shorts and flip-flops in February?

We’ve all seen these people around campus, haven’t we?

I found myself walking to Hubbard Hall early one morning before class, when I passed a friend, Ben, wearing a hoodie, flip-flops and a pair of basketball shorts. It was 15 degrees outside, but surprisingly, Ben looked completely unperturbed by the cold. In fact, he looked like he was in his element — flip-flopping towards the building in no real rush.

I was gobsmacked. I, on the other hand, was frozen in my three jackets, boots, and jeans.

I just don’t understand. I know that there are some people who run hot and some people who run cold, but I’m fairly certain that there aren’t people who run so hot that they are impervious to 15-degree colder-than-a-witch’s-tit cold.

So, I took out my headphones and I asked Ben if he was cold, and you know what he told me?

“I don’t get cold.”

The nerve. I immediately wanted to challenge his statement. I wanted to dunk him in a frozen river in sub-zero temperatures, then pull him out and see if he still “didn’t get cold.” I wanted to take him to Antarctica, still dressed in his flip-flops and shorts, where I would introduce him to a few polar bears and penguins and then see if he still “wasn’t cold.”

Instead, I stopped myself.

Maybe Ben, with his can of Mountain Dew in one hand and his bean and cheese burrito in the other, had achieved a level of zen that I could not comprehend. Ben didn’t worry about things like dressing according to weather or eating a breakfast that was nutritionally sound. He just lived.

Maybe he didn’t feel cold, how should I know? Ben wakes up every day and gets dressed for the beach. While there may be a lack of logic in such thinking, there’s also a beauty to it.

We don’t always have to be so logical.

So, I walked with Ben to class, hoping that some of his magic would transfer to me.