Wednesday, February 16, 2005


There’s no end to the snow. One day the sun is shining so bright that everything starts to melt in a tremendous speed. All day long you hear the dripping of ice and snow turning into water. The next day dark clouds bring a new layer of white. A big truck drives the street, loaded with sand and a man with a shovel. Medieval methods to fight the slipperiness. While being driven slowly through the city, the man shovels sand onto the road. He must be tired in the evenings.

There’s a small park near my house. I’m not sure if it is constructed for the memorial stone in it or if the stone was put in the park because it’s a fitting place for a monument. The monument commemorates the victims from WWII. There are a couple of trees and some benches. No matter how cold it is, how high the snow has banked up, there’s always somebody sitting on a bench. Different people at different moments, a woman with shopping bags, a man emptying a can of beer, a young couple holding hands, a street sweeper having a break.

I saw a woman today cleaning a radiator. She had a cloth in her hands and slowly moved it through two compartments to clear it from dust. She moved to the next two compartments and again wiped the dust. I’ve never seen anybody healthy move so slowly. But the slow-motion made it look very gracious, as if she was performing a mysterious ritual, a dance almost.

I tried smiling at people I passed on the street today. Nobody smiled back at me. Maybe I’ll try singing tomorrow. Or better: humming. No need to frighten them.


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