The ashes flickered in their color because it's always a horse of a different color, always a thousand choices before breakfast's even underway, and there's never a really point that anyone can trace back to and say, a-ha, that was the moment.
I was happy then. Yes, I was.
No, it is ashes and soot mixed into salty sand of that chemical mix dumped onto the concrete roads and there's your human improvement on the natural world. There's progress. It'll rust a car up but good in the end, it'll burn between the soft padding of your domesticated little creatures, but yes, there's progress for you.
Mounds of ashy grey and black snow piled up so carelessly, a sight of nature's refuse and those that refuse nature's insistence on belonging in this world, somehow. Somehow, someday, something that makes sense, but no it doesn't. Piling high and always piled in the wrong spot.
The ash, that turned colors, is like a storm out to sea, all shades of grey and white like lost clouds on their way to become those hellion storm clouds, with black specks to make it briefly interesting. But storms out to sea at least have one delusion now vacant: the promise of some specter of light, far away and at the very edge of the horizon, never growing closer, and so pale and fleeting, it was only the light of a star meeting ocean and extinguishing in its gasping embrace.
Stomp on the ash until it mixes with the ice and sand and chemicals and spoiled snow, until it's all a mixed mess of nothing but that which is ruined and it will be made what everything is - not quite as real as hoped.
If you have the ability, mixed in that strange wet cold, past the fierce wind and the dimming light of the dying day, is the smell of the ocean, of another choice, one choice that cannot be torn asunder by too many complications to anticipate, a simple choice that can be made here and now, and then, not even time can take it away.
But the ashes turned a vivid green and when you close your eyes and try to smell that fresh, living salt of terrible waves and chaotic rip tides, just below the surface is the rot and terrible knowledge that there is nothing that cannot be done.
It is a menial life, with the same choices made unfortunate by every telling of the story.
The ashes are a most becoming green, a verde more verdad than any, before it, like everything else, is touched by the human mind and made logical and made real.
And then the ashes smudge the skin, staining it forever, and there’s the original sin for you, just existing.