Sadness

Sadness had been like a wind, blowing the rain sideways in his face and breaking his umbrella.  There had been no help for it, and it had kept him indoors.  On sunny days, however, he had ridden his bike along the brick-covered path by his house.  The jolts had been happy jolts, soft kicks in the buttocks from the seat of his bike.  The day had been a smiling old man, nodding wisely at him.  “Nice weather for it,” it said, and when it paused to project a small bit of spittle on the pavement the sound had a happy smack.

Were his moods just like the weather?  And could the flapping wings of a Chinese butterfly cause tornadoes in Kansas?  He did not like asking this question, because he knew the answer was, “more or less, yes.”  One might think that a question and its answer could not live in close proximity to each other for long.  Questions and answers should be mortal enemies, and one should kill the other.  But when the wind and rain drove him inside, he found the two of them bickering about nothing, like an old married couple.  He found several other pairs of old married voices, bickering and retiring abruptly to their corners and spitefully cooking each other dinner.  “How do married people keep from killing each other?”  The question saddened him because he knew the answer.  “The day which had been an old man had an old dark wife named night.”

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