Slick Tires. Tracks at a Junction.

The drop starts to form at the top of the window. One of thousands, it begins sliding down the face of the glass, drawn by gravity’s pull. You catch its descent from the corner of your eye and idly track its course.

Maybe you are on a bus to work, pressed in the back near a shuddering engine, travelling your route with the same familiar strangers. Your walkman is on and you are longing for England. Or maybe you are on a train on your way home from school, the night’s reading strewn on a table in front of you, a cold sandwich in your hand and a can of beer in your bag.

Making its journey downwards, the drop, along with its cohorts, distorts what you see through the window. Your surroundings- green hills? city streets?- are different through the trails and smears of water. Though you are sitting quite still, your perspective continues to change.

When you alight, anything can happen. You can make a sale without even trying, or clam up in an afternoon meeting. You can reach home in time to shower before a night of downtown drinking, or make it to dinner an hour late, ready to argue. Regardless, you will encounter someone you know, someone who on that same day has seen the outside through their own water-stained lens. Of course, you don’t talk about it; it’s too personal, too abstract and maybe best kept to yourself.

Getting to the bottom and gaining speed, your drop crashes into the rubber that holds the window in place; its trip is done. It may pool with other drops to form something larger that carries on. It may get blown off the side of the vehicle by the wind as you wait at a light or a junction.

It’s nothing to worry about. It’s not a big deal. It’s just something that you see every once in a while with your eyes half open, like so many other things. Those few minutes watching the window will be dismissed as a non-experience, lost among other vaguely recalled occasions when you find yourself cold and damp, living your life without noticing that it is there.

VdS(x)

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