The view from the roof is breath taking: the city covered with snow. Stark, sparkling white against red terracotta tiles on the slanted rooftops. Smoke from brick chimneys, the image of wood fires burning in warm reading rooms underneath; someone’s afternoon, with a drink, a book, perhaps a view too.
Photo by boris misevic on Unsplash
The footsteps on this snow covered rooftop lead to the ledge. Just one pair. Fresh. At the end of the trail, pure blue sky and feathers a little bird must have left. The feet that leapt from here into the lightness did not leave feathers behind. Just those footsteps and a million pieces of life scattered, like diamonds, all around.
They must have weighed, those diamonds, like ballast hung from a hot air balloon. No longer needed, they now glisten on trees, park benches, the tips of street lamps. Those will light up soon, once the sun has set, and tomorrow, life will resume. Not all of life. Not the same life. Weltanschauung. The view will not be the same.
The sun will not hit the world the same way, but the diamonds will shine, I promise. ‘No love of life without despair of life.’ One piece will sound like his voice. Another will smell of his hair, and another will feel as soft as each time your fingers ran through it and he protested and you teased him and he pouted.
One piece will glisten brown, the shade of his eyes. One will be too sharp to touch; a fight you had that is still too vivid, but as the snow melts, it will dull. One will taste of every birthday cake he cut, all chocolate of course. The other of his coffee, exactly as he took it every morning in the same cup.
You will keep finding pieces on the snow, millions all over the city, for years after today. They will make you cry and make rainbows as they reflect the light. You will be grateful.
And you will wake up and will keep waking up, because though the world is heavier, the boy whose feet kicked away from that snow covered rooftop today is flying.
For you, J. I am so, so sorry.