The universe can seem like a cold and terrifying place. Cosmos whirl and spin, hurling gas and fire into themselves with no concern for the life inside. Stars explode, burn up, die out. Wolves hunt to survive, red in tooth and claw. Even humans do wretched things with horrific abandon — conscience drained, or damned, or disavowed.

Sometimes in winter, grey skies obliterate the sun for weeks at a time. Frozen wetness slathers the ground in hard ice and slush, slipping pedestrians and skidding cars. We brace ourselves against biting wind, and our skin chafes against the raw, moistureless air.

Our entire existence can seem like a Sisyphean slog, as we yank each other off the ground for another day — another attempt to impose some positive outlook on this bleak landscape.

So when I had to stay late on Friday (which some teachers were able to take off completely), grading papers and filing final exam grades, I felt frustrated. The hands of fate had dealt me a rough card. Chained to my desk, I was annoyed at the temporal vampirism. I watched the sands of time drift away through the hourglass of my life.

But when Anemoi decides to provide me (and my nearby teacher friends) with a Super Bonus Weekend on the anniversary of my birth — well, that is evidence of a compassionate force in the universe, dropping little care packages of grace into our lives.

Thanks, universe. WOOOO time for video games!

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