Downtown sidewalks in disbelief littered her stare with a snowfall of shattered glass. Last night's clouds had finally broken — for good. The closeted morning heat was just coming out, shimmering the laddered streets into a Florida nativity scene; snow flung out by believers bereft of earthly anchor. Only a slight breeze stirred fumes and sulfur in steam up from the crunched wreckage, against an overturned police cruiser's lonely remaining tire desperately spinning smoke to the rhythm of a looping APB. Others were emerging slowly but exponentially. They came from cars, basement stairways, dumpsters, subway entrances and exits. Everyone meanwhile clung to something, holding steady while the ground beneath shifted and dug brokenly into the soles of their work shoes and high heels. Trained eyes tried to discern who could be said to have won something, when what they had heard all night was everyone losing everything.
Eyes angled upward, first from aversion, second from hope, third to focus the sound of rotors descending. With no clouds left, she could easily see the copters. Everything had settled so heavily that all movement sank when they came down. She knew that something must happen soon, but for now, there was just nothing left. She turned away from the landing and its megaphones, spinning faster and faster, around but not away.
"...The name of the song is called 'Haddocks' Eyes'!"
"Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to
"No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little
vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name really is, 'The Aged
"Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called'?"
Alice corrected herself.
"No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is
called 'Ways and Means': but that's only what it is called you know!"
"Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this
time completely bewildered.
"I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really is
"A-sitting on a Gate": and the tune's my own invention."
-- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
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