By Jessica Cherry

Winds from the Southwest tangled with an Arctic air mass and won, for now. As I ride in a taxi to the airport in the early morning, Brutalist-gray clouds compress a layer of blue light surprisingly similar to both the open ocean and Pantone’s 2020 color of the year. This blue layer seems to sit mainly at the eastern end of the city’s avenues, the western end being a mauve reflection of airport lights. The air has an unsympathetic dampness and I wonder if a person can actually sense when cloud water has an extra neutron, Deuterium, that is, heavy water. I think I can smell the difference. This season feels performative of winter rather than the true season itself. We don’t yet know how the show will end or how long it will last and the plot twists are getting old. Six people were murdered in the city this week. A bank in East Anchorage was robbed again, for the sixth time in two years. My coworker’s car was broken into at the gym, right under the security camera, and all they would tell him was that the perp was white. The taxi, an improbable Crown Victoria, floats over the icy roads with its bald tires. I wonder which foreign place the driver is from and why he came here and who owns the medallion of this fading business model. Instead of asking, I stay quiet and hope he won’t go back and rob my apartment, knowing I’m not there. We’re still recovering from last winter’s break-in. I look at the snow intercepted by the spruce trees at Connor’s Bog and think, though, mostly people are pretty good. It’s not an easy endeavor we’re asked to get through here.

Jessica Cherry, PhD is a scientist, writer, and commercial pilot living in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

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