the first thing I notice is always the light. sulfurous industrial yellows from lampposts soften into warm candlelight ambers cast over the parking lots and duplexes. faint metallic blues and whiter shades of pale from car headlights fade in and out in every few minutes, slow crescendos and decrescendos marking their passage. gentle accents of cotton-candy reds and blues swirl out from sirens that would otherwise normally come hard and fast as punches—these are rarer but they always make me feel strange inside. somewhere else there is an emergency but it feels remote from here, this quiet little world of muted hues.

and then I remember that snow has its own sound library. I put away my headphones—we spend so much time within our own audioverses—and I hear the wind breathing in and out through buildings and trees, wet scrapes of cautiously crawling tires, entire galaxies of tiny crystals shattering like promises. everything is muffled yet everything is cacophonous.

I have no camera powerful enough to capture these color schemes, no recorder for these soundscapes. all I can do is stand still, hood thrown back, and drink in this experience alone. by the time I start heading back home my footprints have almost been completely covered, they too beginning to succumb.

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