Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow

Watching it come down yesterday, I felt the snow smothering my living. It cut me off in my empty dead house, wrapping me about in an ice straitjacket, mewing me up in the lurid dimness of rooms lit by the reflection of sick pollution. Falling like feathers plucked from the skin of the sky; the waste product of slaughter come to drown us in blue-white death and purity - the two things the same. Stepping out in it this morning, pushing feet down into the numbing tactile blanket, I felt it suck at my shoes vampire-like, drawing at my heat and my soul. It left me marked, sticking to me with a sweetness like candy floss, spreading white patches of mould across me. I am not dead and pure; I am living, in dark relief against the brightness, staining a world trying to cleanse itself.

And the day moved on, and the people pushed at the blankness, and left trails across the snow. It recorded and registered their movements like a wax tablet, watching, knowing, for reference - later. And then there came the slush; the snow receded with the day to show the world as it was. Everything grey filth. The people and the cars spattered with it. It clings to shoes like the snow did, but leaves behind more than water. We are marked again, with ash not aqua. And though the streets will dry and regain their appearance of cleanish greenish aliveness, the stains on shoes will take longer, and the stains on souls do not go. They show both our distance from purity and from death - the two things the same.

Tomorrow, though, the slurry will freeze, and the world will be coated in a varnish of its own muck - shined and polished in grime. And we will not damage it, will not stand upon it except with great care. It will buff up our danger and our fragility. And we will carry on, our minds not thinking, the snow moving then to smother the stream of consciousness in the way it blankets the ice-hard streams of the physical city.

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