Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shoveling Snow at Night

I went out to shovel late at night, the snow all up and down the walk all soft and crystalline. I thought I must be alone; this is one of those things you do, you're all alone. But a cab was idling at the light up on the corner. I imagined the back door flying open, a passenger scrambling out, skittering on the packed ice in his dress shoes. With a gun. The cab departed silently. I put my shoulder down, hit the blade on a crack.

Another car, an SUV, pulled up from Seventh Street. A man got out the passenger side and walked up to a nearly identical car parked by the corner.

"Good morning," he said.


He, too, drove away.

In the distance, north on Prospect Park West, there was something going on. Blue and red lights pierced the lamplit snow. A few minutes later an ambulance drifted by on its dismal errand. That's about when I was done. I threw out one last handful of salt, kicked my boots against the wall and went inside.