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Lost in the mist

September 27th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

The fog rolled in from the north and east as it usually did, down the mountainsides and into the bay beneath. It could seem eerie to an unfamiliar observer, the speed at which it moved, blanketing the city in what felt like seconds, but Jose was unfazed. He had lived here nearly his entire life and this was simply clockwork to his mind, as sure as the sun going down. Sitting on a bench in Chinatown, he smiled to himself at the change in weather, and stood up to begin moving once more toward the harbor that was now engulfed in murky ground-hugging clouds.

A trolley bell sounded somewhere behind him as he crossed Kearny Street. Very few people were out at this time of night, which became increasingly the case as he neared the Financial District. Nothing to do but work down there, and even those people wouldn’t still be around at 2:00 am. Jose enjoyed the silence and strolled on, adjusting his jacket’s zipper for extra warmth. The breeze licked at his thinning hair and continued enveloping him with fog as he drew nearer the water, which was nearly audible from this distance on a night so still.

There were many piers along the shore, and they were difficult to tell apart through the air’s opacity. He had vaguely considered a certain one, but only at the last minute, which was now impossible to identify. It was of no particular importance, yet this struck Jose as a setback for reasons he couldn’t articulate, like the feeling of knowing you’re forgetting something but not knowing what. Resigning himself, he walked along further south and chose one whose end he couldn’t see. He breathed deeply and stepped onto the planks, marching with conviction to their termination, where he did not stop walking.

The sound of a splash never came, only the ongoing gentle sloshing of the bay along the craggy shore. Unable to see anything other than hazy lights through the murk, Jose stood atop the water, small waves crashing over his shoes with imprecise rhythm, but otherwise completely dry. He stepped forward into the mist, still not sinking and defying every Newtownian law. This was his first attempt at such a feat, and though he had awoken that morning with a strange conviction that he was suddenly able to walk on water, it was only now that he realized he had no idea what to do next. Pointing himself toward Oakland, he continued walking.

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