How can someone become allergic — full-on, allover hives allergic — to cold? This essay from Alison Espach unfolds like a slow walk along a precarious ridgeline: You feel the discomfort, but you also trust the journey enough to enjoy it. There’s a practiced sense of pace here, an easy deliberation that pairs well with the subject matter. Press past the pedestrian headline; you’ll be glad you did.

Matt is concerned. I’ve been inside too long. He is worried that he is losing me to the internet, to myself, to my fears. He has always thought that I am too afraid of things. How I clutch the door when he’s taking a turn in the car. How I panic when we are on a narrow mountain road. He’s right. One month ago, I was excited to pack up and road-trip north with my boyfriend, and now I’m afraid to eat ice cream.