Once the sun has disappeared within the city, I go out for a walk. By then the air is just a little more bitter, and I wear my boots and my red scarf tucked into my red coat, and I wear my green green mask, and I wear my music, too, so that everything has context. My philosophy paper is only three-fourths finished, it’s on my desk; other responsibilities wait for me, too, but I go out for a walk.
Outside, the wind moves things like a new ghost, and so the trees shake and then black leaves are on the move. Pigeons eat bread near a bench, a little too confidently. Dogs bark at pedestrians who walk close. I stay by the railing of the promenade, far far far from the crowd, and look at the sea, foggy and broken from the real ocean; then I remember the part that I’m missing, the waves grabbing at the sand and the smell of the water when it’s actually blue. I remember the people that aren’t here, that other bit of me. You can’t have it all.
My music tells a story as I walk. The sounds paint in front of me like long colors and their smells, and then I see myself. I see places and people that are hard to think about otherwise, and I see a story. But my music shows me what I would have said, what I would have done, what I would say, what I would do, and sometimes, that makes me sad.
I walk down to the end of the promenade, all the way to the green park. Then, I can see the sun again — it sinks under a couple of clouds. I turn around and cut home through streets like knives. At the apartment, I take off my mask, take off my coat, take off my music, I go back to my paper lying coarsely on the desk. Tomorrow I’ll go out again, a temporary ritual.