Snow – A Christmas Tale

He had always been ok with Christmas but that year, for some reason, he could feel a wave of melancholy washing ashore.

Maybe it was the new office: big deal but it robbed him of his hands-on approach – the negotiation, the people, “the street” as he liked to call it.

And that is why, on a mid-December night, he agreed to meet, out of the blue, an old acquaintance. A lonely architect hopelessly keen on weird, totally uncool projects that never graced the pages of magazines or trending blogs.

Still, the man was one of his best clients. 

 

They met in front of an old, historic building that had been completely gutted. Just the ochre-colored walls and empty eyes for windows. It had began to snow and snow took away all the noises, as snow always does. Silence reigned.

«Wouldn’t it be great if your surfaces could drown noises as effectively as snow!» the architect greeted him with an ironic smile.

Always the salesman, he replied: «Yes, but they are the next best thing!».

«That is why you are here!».

 

All those books, left to the cold of winter.

How could it be? Hidden in the shadows, just beyond the streetlight’s reach, shelves and shelves of books against stark concrete walls and nude floors, nothing else.

«You see, we have to make the most of the snow and the silence it brings» said the architect, leading him inside.

«The voice is just a whisper now, and the sound of the cars is deafening. Even the sound of steps on the sidewalk prevents from hearing».

The architect took a book from one shelf and opened in front of him. Lighting up a phone, they flipped through the pages. Half of them were blank.

«Did you know that even stories have an expiration date?».

«When it happens» said the architect, «we need to get the story told again, from the beginning. So it is restored. For a while».

«Told by whom?» he asked.

The architect pointed further inside the gutted shop, under an old skylight flooded with the unreal light of winter, two armchairs on a worn-out carpet. One was empty. In the other, the severe profile of an old man, with white hair, holding his head high with his eyes closed.

«He knows the stories. He knows all the stories. All of them. And we cannot afford to miss a single one or with that story a world, a destiny, a future is gone. But his voice gets always lower, lower… Now he is nothing more than a whisper. And it is not just the outside noises, even walking on these old wooden floors drowns everything… Only when it snows we can hear him».

«Until now» he said. He joyously found himself already crunching numbers. That was his job. His real job.

«Until now» replied the architect.

And they shook hands.