The Winter Dawn is timid this far north. That is why she tiptoed up to my window and then hesitated, as if unsure about what to do next.
Within, Night, her brother and contrast, lingered in many places: on the windows and along the floor as frost, in the cold hash pipe as ash, in the lava lamp as yellow and red bubbly ghost still rising and falling and rising and falling from the heat of the little bulb that could.
On the table as story.
The sun scaled the sky a little more before Sister Dawn finally worked up the courage to pry herself through the frosted glass and heavy curtains and onto my face where she settled and with the help of pure physical (as in bathroom) needs found and excavated me.
I opened my eyes to wonder at the ceiling, then turned to my left to wonder at the all the little letters written on the wall, then turned to my right to wonder at the table, then at the large sheet of paper on the table with many more inky letters scrawled all over it, all mine. And when I say wondered, I really mean wondered, for as yet I could not imagine what I might have written on wall and paper.
I heaved myself halfway up and onto my elbow to wonder a little harder at the sheet of paper: so many letters, all running around scratchily in my barely legible hand. And looking, and looking again, and making out a word or two or three it came back to me, little by a little more: that long, glorious and wordy exhaling under the spell of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor.
I sat all the way up now and retrieved the sheet from the table, wrapped the blanket around me (noticing my breath as faint mist in the cold air), leaned back against the thick wall behind me, and began to read in earnest.
Reading, I returned to the night before and again fell in with Brother Cold and Dark (aka Brother Night)—Cold and Dark despite the two gas burners on my stove burning as high as they would go and hissing heat into his icy heart and despite the little kerosene heater that did all it could to give the gas burners a hand from its frosty corner.
But those were only gestures at warmth, for I live in Stockholm and it is deep winter in the capital N North with a meter of snow outside my window, glittering now and would be sharp to the touch, I could well imagine, and would squeak now underfoot, I could well imagine.
And in this capital N North my room is a tall rectangular box of frigid space: a three meter high ceiling with two almost meter-thick walls colder than death facing the outside, another wall nearly as cold facing the entrance way, and a fourth (not so cold but not-at-all warm) wall that I shared with my neighbor. It is in this box of winter that Brother Night and I spent an interesting evening; a cold and stoned evening—just me, though, with the stoned part, Brother Night doesn’t smoke hashish.