Spring arrives in different colors here and there. Here it's still so cold at night that I squeeze myself under the covers and slam my windows shut. Frost appeared one morning. My rose wore it like dried up tears on a child's face. My neighbors stayed quiet until night came on when the sounds of their TV barged into my bedroom, uninvited.
Later in the month I went to see an old pair of friends from Germany. They arrived from Berlin three months ago and we met on a 'like sunshine, like rain' kind of afternoon. The chic downtown loft style cafe featured chrome tables and spindly chairs, sleek long bar counters and monochromatic gray color schemes. The expense of the space, the three window walls and the exposed ceiling pipes gave one the feeling of stepping onto the runway of a funk fashion show, or perhaps a particularly well lit rock concert.
Jen and Tom took turn to squeeze me tight in their arms. It made me feel small, like a child again. We ordered drinks, wine for me, beer for them.
"How is D-town so far?" I played the native and inquired them about my city.
"It is so warm here!" They exclaimed. Tom was born in Norway but studied in Berlin, where he met Jen. They both looked Nordic enough, blond, eyes the color of lakes swimming with curiosity and candor.
"Sure." I concurred. To them this was warmth. Cold rain drizzling and slicking over the road with leaked engine oil notwithstanding, it still beat snow and ice and blistering wind.
"But I miss Berlin." Jen piped up after a second. "The city, the energy, the friends." She told me about the old neighborhoods. The pizza place with real Italians working at the kitchen and in the dinning room. How they wanted to steal a kiss from her when she first went in.
Tom smiled a generous smile. Jen's beauty had both a startling and arresting quality. They had traveled the world together and had grown at ease with each other's attraction, the effect it had on other people.
"We all became friends." Jen followed up.
"After I gave him a big nose job." Tom coughed out this next line.
"Yeah. They had a good old fashioned (is that how you say?) alley fight."
"One on one?"
"No. Tom had to fight his four brothers. The pizza man watched and kept scores."
"No. He was beaten badly at first. But they didn't continue after that. They left him once he fell to the ground."
"You were there?"
"At first I was. Then I called my two brothers. They brought their friends. The Italians surrendered when they saw this group of German guys walking toward their little restaurant."
"I can't imagine the Germans do that!"
"Well. They were just going to talk to them. But they looked big and serious. You know?" Jen gestured big with her hands by framing a space above and around her, outlining the rough sizing of large doors.
"They didn't have to say anything in the end." Tom jumped in, slightly flushed.
"The pizza boy treated everyone with pizza and beer. They drank and sang together." Jen jumped back in, "Then they told us they didn't know I was with Tom and wanted to marry me. They didn't mean to disrespect."
"I think he was telling the truth." Tom squeezed Jen's shoulder gently.
"That's why I love you." She pressed a kiss onto the side of his face close to her.
On the way home, I noticed the hills along the highway was blooming with small yellow flowers. The wild kind no one paid attention to. The rest of the city was still brown and gray, dressed under the hands of winter. But those wild flowers covered hills sent out a new scent in the air, conquering the motor oils, the rain, the hovering gloom.
A first note of spring, echoing the occasionally hidden faces of the sun.