Rays of Golden Sunshine

It’s snowing outside. A lot. It’s dumping, actually.

Of all the places in the world, it only dumps like this in Bozeman, Montana. To walk through it is to walk through a world of ethereal, whirling whiteness. And, like that scene in Babel, you see noise all around you, but you hear nothing– not even the crunch of your own boots in the snow. It’s as though you step outside, and sound ceases to exist. Fffpt. Gone. …

Then, you step back inside, and a grinding barrage of sound overwhelms you!– the harsh sound of creaking doors, the grating of squeaking boots, booming footsteps, vociferous, rustling coats.

It’s not so, outside.

Outside, you scream, and the sound is sucked away into the dense, whirling whiteness, as though you had no voice of your own.

Across the way is that girl from class, her hair glistening, patchwork of gold and white. She smiles. She calls out, lips and eyes forming words. You hear nothing, but hear it perfectly. Crystal clear.

If I say the right words, you’ll forget what they mean. You’ll hear them through the snow, from the form of my lips, and glimmer in my eyes. The right words have no sound, only form, and meaning long forgotten. It’s as though we communicate, but we’ve lost sight of why, of how. “How’s the weather?” No, that’s not the question. “How are you?” Better, or worse. “…” Closer. Too much, but not enough.

But in the snow, across the way, then we communicate. It’s the form of the words that carry their meaning. Not their sounds.

Boy: “Place the turkey in a pre-heated oven.”
Girl: “I don’t know what you mean.”
Boy: “Put the form in a self-addressed, stamped envelope.”
Girl: “I don’t understand.”
Boy: “(   ) (     ) (  ) (   ) (   ).”
Girl: “Mm. And me, you.”

About Mark Egge

Transportation planner-adjacent data scientist by day. YIMBY Shoupista on a bicycle by night. Bozeman, MT. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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