The Man By The Tree

It dripped slowly, savoring the long journey from the tip of the nose to the ground. It was a moment to be savored… this pale sunlight in the peak of winter, as snow and ice covered every attainable surface. The drop of water was a sign of victory of warmth over cold, and the drop savored it. 

The sheen of ice over the skin made it seem like a statue. A marble statue, gone to mold a little bit but standing strong and still, nevertheless.

Joggers ran past this human statue, barely glancing at it. It was a part of the tree, the ice, the cold and they were intent on those little devices attached to their wrists, making every step seem like a reward. They chanted in their heads “one more step” and promised themselves hot coffee and rich bagels once they were home. Such a heavy winter, they thought, feeling self righteous to be out running at all this cold morning.

But the drop of water continued, fighting for its right to seep into the ground and probably become ice once more as the evening set. 

He had been a pretty man once. Tall, fair and pretty. Of course, the word pretty would have made him angry, like it would for any self-respecting man. His posture reflected that… the self righteousness. Rigid he stood but one could wonder if that was the rigidity death imposed or he had imposed on himself before he gave himself to death. His face was a mask, sheathed with ice. The eyes were serious, looking straight ahead into the path he perhaps took. 

If one were an artist, they would try to capture him the way he was. He was never so regal in life, and would never be seen as such once discovered. They would call him a victim, they would shed tears and perhaps raise a toast to some good moments. There were a few good moments, and some hearty ones too. He was, after all, a decent man, even if unremarkable. 

Would he have chosen a different pose, if he had known it would be his last one? Would it have been leaning against that tree, staring into the distance? Of course, the ice made it all seem regal and shiny. But another drop of water had found its way to freedom and was following its predecessor fast down the nose. What would be left when all the water found victory? The last gleam of life, giving a shine to his skin or the victory of death lending its unique glow to his cheeks?

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