Sunday, January 05, 2014


The bank across from the radio station read that the temperature was two degrees. Mark, Danny and Randi approached the front door to the station at the same time. "It's cold out here," Mark said, opening the door for the other two.

"Did you come to that conclusion yourself?" Danny asked sarcastically, entering the building and immediately removing his gloves. "And we're supposed to get five inches of snow tonight. Going home in the morning is going to be a bitch."

"Why is it so cold in here?" Randi said as she unzipped her coat.

"The heat's on the fritz," Lloyd said, coming down the stairs and preparing to leave.

"It's going to be fixed, right?" Danny asked.

"In the morning. Look, I tried to get someone out here this evening or even tonight but they're too busy. Besides, it's just you three tonight. Figure out ways to keep warm that don't include setting the place on fire or having sexual harassment charges brought up," Lloyd placed a hat on his head. "I will see you tomorrow. Unless I can't get out of my driveway. Be careful driving home."

"Thanks," Mark sighed. "No point in taking this off," he said as he rezipped up his coat.

"Can't this place get an HVAC system that works?" Danny muttered. "It was this past summer when the air conditioning broke down, right?"

"It breaks down every summer," Mark corrected.

"They installed the new HVAC system the same time I was hired and I don't think it's worked properly ever since," Danny said. "I don't know why they just don't replace it."

"The same could be said for you," Mark said.

Danny looked at Mark, his breath fogging up in front of him. He then just walked away.

"He loves me," Mark said to Randi.

The temperature in the station had dropped to 52 degrees and had been hovering there for the last couple of hours. All three were still in their coats and bundled up although they've been able to keep the studio relatively warm with their body heat.

"It feels pretty good in here considering it's negative seven degrees with a wind chill of negative twenty," Mark said.

"At least it stopped raining ice," Randi said. "You know, we should just go home. There's no reason for us to be here. We can just throw on a bunch of music and say we're going home. Somehow I don't think anyone would mind considering how dangerous it's getting outside."

"You two can go," Danny began. "I'm staying."


"I live the farthest away. And I live where the storm has already dropped five inches of snow and three inches of ice. Staying here is probably a lot safer than trying to get back home. But, please, if you two want to leave then go."

Randi and Mark looked at each other.

"It's too damn cold in here," Danny said, on the air. "Our heater is on the fritz so the three of us--me, Mark and Randi--are sitting here in a near-frigid studio."

"To be fair, it's not near-frigid. It's 52 degrees," Mark corrected.

"That's a lot colder than it needs to be," Danny reasoned. "This is the coldest I've ever been and I've lived in Minnesota."

"Were you on the radio there?" Randi asked.

"Yeah. A station that isn't there anymore. Well, it's there but it's a talk station. It switched eight months after I started there," Danny said. "I stayed there two months after they switched and when a job here opened up, I left as fast as I could. I want to play music."

"My parents are the first house off of an exit in southeast Kansas," Randi began. "And they always have random people coming up to the house asking for directions, or gas, or help with car trouble or even just to use their driveway to turn around. They are generally pretty nice about it. My dad keeps a lot of guns around the farm and he keeps one on the nightstand in my parents' bedroom. A couple years ago, someone starts banging on the door at about four in the morning so he grabs the gun off the nightstand, heads to the front and opens it slightly with the gun behind his back. He asks the guy 'What do you want?' and the guy just grabs the screen door and tries to pull it open. My dad kept his hold on the door and pulled it closed and pointed the gun at the man. The man started freaking out saying that he just lost. My dad gave him directions and he left."

"Did he really want directions?" Mark asked.

"Yeah. Why would you forcibly grab someone's screen door to open it? I think your dad stopped something more serious from happening," Danny said.

"He always tells that story when someone starts complaining about him having all his guns and when gun control makes the news," Randi said. "It just reinforced his belief that everyone should own a gun for protection."

"Ah, he's one of those," Danny said, laughing.

"Yes, he's one of those," Randi said, mocking Danny's voice. "Owning a gun is a right, Danny."

"I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing the myth that you have to go through life living in fear. Fear that winds up causing you to point a gun in someone's face."

"If he hadn't pointed that gun, something bad may have happened," Randi pointed out.

"Tell me, how many times has he actually had to point a gun at someone or threaten someone with a gun to protect himself or someone in his family?"

"At least a dozen," Randi said.

"Threatening your high school boyfriends doesn't count."


"The number dropped that much?" Mark asked.

"I have a sister."

"What were the two times?" asked Danny.

"The story I told you and when we visited Alaska when I was eight. Someone broke into the house we were staying at and the robber and my dad had a stand-off. The robber eventually backed off and ran away," Randi said.

"You've been to Alaska?" Danny was amazed.

"Every year to go fishing from age eight months to sixteen years."

"To fish?"

"Of course. You don't travel thousands of miles to your own private fishing hole?" Randi smiled.

"Well, of course I do. But I'm insane so..." Danny began playing a song and cut off the mics.

Danny, Randi and Mark stood at the entrance of the radio station and looked at the snow continuing to fall. "I think I'm just gonna stay here a little longer," Danny said.

"Are you sure?" Mark said.

Danny looked at the parking lot which had been plowed but still had a couple inches of slush on it. "Yeah. I should be able to leave in a couple hours. I just want to make sure the highways are good."

"Okay. Will we see you tonight?" Randi asked as she placed her gloved hand on the door to leave.

"Wouldn't miss it," he smiled. "See you, Randi."

"See you, guys," Randi waved, pushed the door open and walked out into the cold.

"Bye," Danny said but was sure she couldn't hear him.

"You okay?" Mark asked.

"Yeah, I'm good. I'll see you tonight."

"Okay," Mark said hesitantly and followed Randi into the cold.

Danny went back up to the studio and into the break room where he sat down on a couch and turned on the TV bolted to the wall in the corner. He watched the first half hour of Live! With Kelly and Michael and was about to fall asleep when Randi walked into the break room carrying two bags of McDonald's.

"Do you want some breakfast?" she asked.

"What? Yeah, that'd be great," Danny stood up and took one of the bags Randi offered him. "Why'd you come back? With breakfast?"

"I felt bad just leaving you here. Have you thought about moving closer to the station?"

"I like where I live just fine, thanks."

"All right, suit yourself. What are you watching?"

"Live! With Kelly and Michael."

"I'm sorry. When does Price Is Right come on?"


"Sweet. We'll watch that then head home."

"Sounds good to me."