Friday, November 21, 2014
A new winter
The sun didn't set at four o'clock in the afternoon. Flowers bloomed and the trees were luxuriant. Dazzling birds populated the world. A few simple items of clothes, taking mere seconds to put on, were sufficient dress for all the needs of the day, public and private. The air was rich, the sky was blue, and the city belonged to everyone.
And then the first snow came with its shoulder lowered, and it slammed into the city with deep layers of hard ice and heavy snow. Warmth sank deep under the bitter winds blowing. It was quiet, and it was night almost all the time.
I drove terrified and floundering over the terrible ice of the world and reeled from the shock of it, but after a week I remembered that the cold doesn't bother me at all, and the ice is only terrible at first. So I stepped into the world again and resumed my long walking commute.
And I found the city empty. Few bikes if any, and the rare people around were all far away and obscured by silence and clothes and steam. It is our own little annual Armageddon. The birds are scattered and scrappy and rough, the trees jagged and asleep. Smell is gone, light is clear, air is fierce. The cars are like creatures stalking. The sky is endlessly tall and empty and indistinct from all of space and time. The wide river path runs out in front of me, empty for as far as I can see.
The city is mine again.