digital snow

a work in progress


I stood alone outside the airport. I could see no one from my flight. An empty tram came. I hesitated. It left.

A tall man talking to a short man. The short man was sitting behind a car rental booth which made him look even shorter. I asked them which tram I should take to get to the city.

“That one,” the tall man said, pointing to the butt of the tram disappearing into the distance. The short one nodded. “But just take the next one”. The short one nodded again.

And so I waited and reflected on how Estonian sounds like the chirping of birds.

I boarded the next tram, which was also empty.

Then came a man whose face was an unsmiling field of gravel.

Then came a woman with a bubble jacket, teetering on high-heels balancing with the help of a large rectangular leather handbag.

Then came three drunks speaking in their own language of burps and gestures.

There was a strange disconnect between the smooth modernity of the tram and the concrete buildings behind them. It reminded me instantly of the Pére la Chaise cemetery in Paris, the blocks stood as mausoleums, rows and rows of them, silent and rotting. They stood together but apart, like clowns who had cried the night before, colours wasting away around the windows, petrified waterfalls of rust under hollow eyes.

The tram stops and the first drunk starts slapping the second one who had fallen asleep; the third one had, for some reason, ended up in the carriage behind us. They attempted to mobilise themselves like the conflicting personalities of a schizophrenic, gesticulating energetically to each other. They tumbled out eventually. I followed after.