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Selections from stories composed over the weekend (1): "Basement Snow"

Monday 2/10/20

“Everybody sees different things,” my friend Radula says at Anthony’s, which sounds like a man’s home, but is a diner in the middle of our town.


“Smells different things,” Radula continues. “Like our coffees.”


I look at the beverages. We are each the sort of person to remove a lid until liquid has cooled. The rising steam seems to rain moisture on the greasy film of the table that one accepts as part of the charm of the place. Perhaps people like us are counted on to take a layer or two off of slick surfaces.


“Yours smells like bacon,” I remark.


“Really?” she says. “I was thinking of bell peppers.”


The portion of the basement where I saw the falling snow does not smell of bacon nor peppers. It barely has any odor at all, a dim after-scent of small pine cones, the kind that have not existed long enough to exude discernible quantities of sap.


I send Radula into the basement alone after she has hurried over. It feels like two observers would alter the scene, cause it to abscond. I saw the snow in the corner, spreading like weather observed in the next town over.


“I don’t see anything,” she says. “Some hockey sticks, sump pump. What is it you saw?”


I ask her if she didn’t see snow. “Like a clump of it, you mean?” she replies. I say no, the snow that falls from the sky, swirls, blows, sometimes goes vertical.