A little warm-up writing (draft) from this morning’s coffee… (spurred by this image and a ‘mock’ cover I created that could one day be a real story).
Spring had died, drowned by the climbing mercury in the giant thermometer on the brick wall of Tilson’s bar she could see by day in rising and fading sunlight that arced over the building, and at night in the lurid neon glow from the sign next to it. Temperatures that wouldn’t back down until late September.
The wind carried a hint of relief from the day’s heat, barely. Even three stories up it reeked of hot asphalt. Her fingers reached down and brushed the canvas awning the building owner had fashioned for a shade over each window.
Its apartments were full of dreamers, writers, singers, musicians… those who wanted it all and worked for it. And those who wanted it all, but—and they knew or came to realize—would never come close.
She had seen it in them, coming and going in the halls, on the stairs… and in herself. An emotional ebb and flow—a waxing or waning tidal energy or lack of—that kept them and her hanging on or ended with thoughts of letting go.
Jobs, small gigs came to her from time to time that led to an eked-out existence. As each ended, sometimes they’d say, “There’s something about you… but it comes and goes. And when it goes, so do you.”
She didn’t even know what that ‘something’ was. Not exactly.
The crackling flash was followed by a rumbling of air. Jagged forked tips tore through the crowding clouds but didn’t reach the ground. There’d be no rain. Only a false promise. She touched the canvas—on a whim she had painted it as piano keys—and wondered if beneath them, in the window below, someone sat and wished for spring or fall. And to find out what their ‘something’ was.
Fat drops of rain splashed on the canvas, one… then two… then a third plopped on the back of her hand, running between fingers and web between them and thumb. She smiled at what she’d thought was false. With the changes in the Sun and Earth, rain happened so rarely that its lack had been truth and any suggestion of otherwise, a lie. She leaned out and looked up, feeling the welcome coolness that ended too soon. As she touched damp cheeks, she thought… maybe there’s always something to hope for.