I suddenly remembered that map I left attached to my fridge when it was too late and we had to take a look at directions again. Yet it was also too early and the wind was not as biting as it tends to be this time of year, so I shrugged, took your hand in mind and let you navigate the busy streets. It seemed all we saw were skyscrapers and grey-clothed backs, all in a babble and a blur of foreign tongues, but it was easy to laugh and navigate the mess. To the untrained eye both building and human were the same color, but you told me how and where to look to discern the separate shades and shapes. The light filtered in, ethereal, between the cracks of body and building because we both knew how to observe the ubiquitous dust motes that appear everywhere, no matter how many times the street is cleaned or the wind blows.
I knew the spaces where sky and meek nature met, even though it was the only kind of nature that could be found within an urban sprawl. It was here that the yellows and golds of late afternoon sunlight swelled with their true colours and were filtered and split by twisted, frozen tree branches and limbs, scared and vulnerable in their winter garb.The hazy, languid sunlight was the only kind you can get at the wintertime, precious and slightly sad in its fleeting presence. This season is a death, but it’s easy to find life and light among the fallen leaves and branches; they create their own seasonal sculpture garden that is not appreciated enough because people mourn the heat too, too long.
I experience imperfection everyday and try to not let it bother me, and leaning back against that tree trunk, you felt the same bark as I did and noticed the same shapes, and I understood that you experience it too.
So I let the lone saxophonist wash his notes across the hazy sky and let the seasonal melody perfectly poignant with its allusion to loss and change wrap around us like a cashmere scarf. I let the trees silhouette against new skyscrapers, shiny and redolent in glass and steel splendor. And I let myself sing a soft then bolder harmony to the woodwind melody and watched as you smiled and hummed along, because I’d never sung under these skies and I wasn’t afraid anymore.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”