Fickle Air

When I open the door, a cold blast of wind rustles my hair greeting me. I shudder in return nestling farther into my jacket. Quickly, I shove my hands into my pockets before the chill can take its jab at them.

I merge into the crowd on the busy city street. We all shuffle to the same beat, fast or slow, everything melds together. I’ve come to learn that this type of impeccable order is was keeps us from flying.

I shuffle with the tide until I reach the library. It’s a cold building that seems to radiate the stiffness of an old New England boarding school.

As I walk towards the grand, brass revolving door, I try not to make eye contact with the countless little statues and gargoyles dotting the building like stars. I release a sigh of relief when the warm inside air embraces me as my skin forgets the cold. How fickle the air is: cold at one moment, beating warmth at the next.

I take a moment to appreciate words and their books and the books’ creators. The smell of their old pages flickers like a fire. I like to believe that there is an unfathomable beauty to words no one can ever explain. I guess that’s why we imagine.

Bringing my thoughts back to reality, I make my way past the rows of people clacking away on their keyboards, my eyes beginning to scan for my chair.

It’s an odd little chair with armrests that swoop downwards to its legs. I couldn’t tell you the color of my chair unless you could recreate the specific light it was conceived in because it tends to swap colors depending on the moods of the sun and the air. When they get along, the air refracts the sun’s light vibrantly. But, when they fight, the fabric is bland. The beams of the sun never change, glowing infinitely. It’s the air’s lies that maim the golden rays.

A smile rises onto my cheeks when I spot my chair. Today, it is green with scratches of yellow hidden between its pleats. I sink down into its cushion that has been hardened by years of pressure and fish my hand in between the pillows pulling my book out. Sliding forward in my chair, I flick it open to the last page just to stick the last sentence in my head again.

“For now she knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

(Quote from: Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (1977))

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