photo by joshua heineman.
A CHAIR’S WIRY SHADOW was cast on the brick wall like some translucent fishing net, fading in and out as clouds passed over the sun. I stared at this while sipping coffee in a minute of respite, my mind flitting between vague, yellowing memories and thoughts of how friends in other cities were getting on.
It was the first truly warm day of spring. The air had a calm about it that was only occasionally broken by cuts of brisk wind. I took it, shedding my stocking cap to allow the breeze to pass through my naked hair. A melting heap of snow sat stubbornly on the patio, like a nagging reminder of winter’s proximity — and ability to return with the drop of just a few degrees. My hands were still cracked from the cold, dry air.
I hadn’t been on the other side of town since fall, and gazing out at the traffic rushing down East Washington — an ugly, industrial artery — I felt transported; it was as though I was seeing the city from the window of a passing plane. The light seemed to play tricks on time.
I wanted to talk with someone, to share this unruffled moment. But as I felt for my phone I decided against it. The wind was picking up. I went inside, and began to bury myself in the usual roar of thoughts and worries.