Sunday, January 31, 2010


"What do you want from me?" The angry young man in the heartless brown suit asked.

"I want you to sit down and finish your coffee, and think about it, this an opportunity here." Replied the older woman in the uncompromising sunglasses, lit eerily against the overcast sky.

It had rained for three weeks, almost a full month of summer rain. In the streets people were talking about crop failure, and floods, and the market, and the economy, and the rest of the imaginary friends society keeps for some strange comfort. But at the inexplicable pair sitting outside at the cafe, even as the thunderheads rolled in, they were talking about the Weather, whether it would change.

"I don't know how it happened, look I really don't, if I knew I'd tell you, but I haven't talked to her." and after a pause of sudden respiration, and perhaps even emancipation, or inspiration, or revelation, the young man in the heartless brown suit continued. "I didn't talk to her before she" he asserted quickly "well, look I can't explain it, sometimes she's just gone, and here I am left holding what's left of this mess together."

"Ethan, listen to me, this is your last chance for the position, I've seen your camera tests, and from what I understand you're the best meteorologist the station has seen since Ed "Perfect December" Blakely died, god rest him. Now, I want to see you succeed, I really do, I think you've got great hair, great teeth, and your smile, well I think we can make people think it is supposed to be sunny when you tell them its raining, just by smiling."

"You really think so?" The young man in the heartless brown suit sipped his coffee and leaned back into the chair, and it seemed to him that a crack appeared in the clouds above him, just a tiny crack, and that maybe there would be sunshine today. "I mean, I could've gone anywhere you know. I had a job offer in Boston, you know that? I've never been to the ocean. I was gonna be the guy that set off the John Hancock Tower lights: steady blue, clear view; flashing blue, clouds are due; steady red, rain ahead; flashing red, snow instead."

Behind her uncompromising sunglasses the older woman, not old perhaps, but certainly mature, smiled. The smile did not reach her lips, and it was only for a moment, like a cloud passing over the sun.
"That sounds great Ethan, but nobody would have ever known who you are. What I'm offering you is local fame, and the money's not bad either."

"Yeah... but, I mean I can't, I mean I don't know where she is." Ethan's lips quivered as the word she passed through them, and the woman in uncompromising the sun glasses across from him saw her reflection in Ethan's eyes.

Ethan grew pale in his heartless brown suit. The skin of his upper lip began to perspire, and his leg trembled. Perhaps it was at the thought of giving her up for the job, for his future, but it was easily as likely that his leg began to shake and his lip began to sweat at the thought of being on camera, of being known, of getting the weather wrong.

He breathed in and almost sighed, but instead he spoke a sentence very quickly: "Amanda, the last time I saw her, she was leaving my apartment after I told her that I wasn't going to sleep with her. We had a big fight about..." and then a pause came. A look of fear came over Ethan's face as if he was suddenly afraid of revealing so much to the woman behind the uncompromising sun glasses. He finished his sentences speaking the words as if they were poison, only the poison came from them coming out, as if they were stoppers that had been loosed and the poison had been inside him all along. "We fought about the weather, she refused to let me help her." Then suddenly the poison didn't matter, words were coming out, and the original burn of illness had turned into a slick patina of rage and jealousy. "I was angry that she had been throwing away my analyses." Ethan's eyes began to light up, the sort of light that hits the bottom left corners of a persons eyes when they are lying, but believe that they are only bending the truth, or they believe that the truth is too complicated and cannot be extracted from the layers of past that surround it. "I think she was throwing them away before the broadcast, not even reading them."

"Ethan, that's what I wanted to hear. The job's yours. I'm firing Amanda." Sun broke through the clouds, and the woman behind the uncompromising sun glasses smiled, this time it reached her lips, she said "Can you believe she said it was supposed to rain today? With sun like this I could go to the beach." She grabbed her umbrella as she stood up and walked away, leaving Ethan smiling, but trembling.

He thought that perhaps if he had tried to tell the truth a little bit harder, than maybe it would've rained, but then he smiled and looked up at the sun coming through the clouds as if it were the blinking light of the studios cameras, and the clouds seemed to melt away.

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