And then there was silence… After all the colour, the brass, the beads, the beers and the cheers: just silence. It is but in a crowd, surrounded by joy, laughter and what outsiders might mistakenly see as companionship that I feel truly lonely.

It is as though the exuberance of the world outside drained the world inside and all that is left is a void, so devoid of screams, emotion, or even movement that the feeling is one of loss. The kind of loss which doesn’t presuppose that there was something there in the first place, just a feeling of incompleteness, of inadequacy, of not belonging to what I am supposed to belong to.

A member of society or a diseased cell of an organic body? What constitutes the whole – I don’t know. I shan’t brood over the question which parts belong in society and which need to part from society in order to ensure its prosperity. Nothing good can come of it.

A slight orange hue sets today’s sky apart from that of other February afternoons.

A rosebush, its petals faintly pink, is basking in the sunlight. It is not oppulence in colour or in smell that mesmerizes me, it is the sickly stems, befallen by aphids, it is the contrast. Beauty elevated by beauty decimated.

Marching bands are swaggering down St. Charles Avenue, breaking the seriousness that marching bands so often fall victim to. Their brass instruments reflect the sun so blindingly that it makes me forget how cold it actually is today.

Somebody offers me hot chocolate with peppermint schnaps. It tastes refreshingly agreeable although it neither warms me up nor numbs whatever feeling there is left.

The tune, I assume, carries through the air a long way and every note so clearly distinguished from the others from where I stand must meddle together a mile from here. Music here. Noise there. Yet somehow: instead of drowning out the noise, a mind can drown out beauty.

Nothing encapsulates a moment quite like the warm timbre of jazz music, the inconsistent grain of massive oak, the twirlingly ascending steam of tea or the texture of smooth scotch. I say a moment… I mean the small period of time so utterly void of worry that all senses are concentrating on a sole occupation: the consumption of all things exquisite. Destitute of intellectualization, the grid of interpretation dislodged. Streams… just streams… the mind a mere receptacle.

And for just that moment: singularity not in the quest for such, but in the momentary impartiality towards unequivocal, pure reality.


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