Decade in Review: Bright Dry Things

By Michelle Railey

March, 2011

It was a cold, gray day in Indianapolis, a day of putty-colored sky against putty-colored road accompanied by putty-colored drizzle and a cold, damp, unforgiving wind. Four-lane road, busy at rush hour with no visibility because it’s all just one dun-colored world.

And there they were, the busy road and they, The Sweatpants, on the sidewalk wearing non-descript, invisible coats. If it weren’t for the sweatpants, the pair of them would have been camouflaged, completely unseen in the shared non-color of their coats and the sky and the rain. But she wore brilliantly hot-pink sweatpants and an air cast. He wore sweatpants that were somewhere between cobalt and bluebird. The Sweatpants were seen. In the rain. On a busy road. Hugging one another for dear life and for reasons I couldn’t possibly imagine.

They were nowhere near a bus stop. The sidewalk, frankly, led to nowhere. I don’t know where they could have been going or how they were going to get there. But there was some kind of story there. In 35 degrees Fahrenheit of cold and wet misery, on a four-lane road backed up with short-tempered commuters in dirty, spotted cars, the Sweatpants hung on to one another, unsheltered but anchored, the only bright, dry things on a wet and sullen road.

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