Jim and I had a mind for violence. I couldn’t tell you the rhyme or reason for the things we did. Jim blames it on the season. I blame it on the colors.
See Jim, he’s all grey. Grey face, grey beard, grey eyes like coals in a dying hearth’s embrace. He told me once that all he sees is grey. He says it’s hard to stand on one side of the line when you can hardly tell what folks are pointing at.
Tonight, they’re pointing at the little boxcar diner, all dressed in winter whites and summer crimsons. Jim took a long swig of his amber whiskey before shoving his pocket square in the mouth and his lighter in my hands. He let me stand at his shoulder when he threw it in the window. Flames danced with men and dames as we stood shivering in the pale moonlight. Now the screams sound like laughter in July and I want to laugh too. But Jim looks on with his slate, staring eyes so I just watch from the line.
Everybody’s pointing and the place is alight in pretty reds, but not to Jim.
In the dark, ashes look all the same colors as snow.