“…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45
Snow started falling in the beginning of the week. It fell tentatively, testing the ground, like men test a boundary at that point when they’re still wondering if it’s too soon to kiss you. It fluttered in the darkness here and there. It was allegedly spotted on the highway miles outside the city. It burst like occasional confetti, for when the party’s still in its early hours, and awkward. It would not embrace.
It became rougher as the week progressed. It took liberties. It whispered against eyelids; it tortured bus drivers into epic fits of swearing. It muffled footsteps and hearts and drunken outbursts by the dumpster at 2 a.m. It turned ankles and prompted random acts of kindness.
It fell with ardour and without discrimination. It sugared the berets of grandmothers feeling their way through drifts with their canes. It got caught in the hair of the saleslady out for her cigarette, right after she tried to sell me underwear with little gift-bow ties on the sides. It streaked past the windows of a pub where another girl caught the eye of another boy (but in this version, she still prattled about politics, and he still had blue eyes). It stuck stubbornly to one headlight on a swerving Porsche, just as the genie in my iPod coughed up the Wallflowers, and giggled into his fist, pleased with himself (maybe). It landed on tongues and mink hats, on slender steeples and slabs of scowling concrete. It came home with us, and wept.
“My name will be whatever you want it to be,” it said. A shroud or a veil. A pearl for your eye, a line of coke, a grey hair like a line between Before and After.
It said it will hang around for as long as it feels like it. It could not handle being touched too long. In the glow of a convenient streetlight, it tossed back and worth with the wind, like a curtain blowing between this world and some other one (not necessarily better one, just a world: its own laws of physics, its own politicians). It lasted long, as long as it could. It wore itself out, and hung back, exhausted, breathing against leather ear-flaps.
A taxi driver by the bus stop gave up on the engine, and rolled the window down for a smoke. “Fuck me,” he said, to no one in particular. The evaporated tears of war orphans and ecstatic beauty queens were blinding his windshield. All he could do was stare.