In one part of the city, the circus is setting up, and the girls in strappy high heels are leaning over, and dirt is flying with every passing car booming gangsta rap. And in another, ten babies are crying into the same hot nursery air and flowers are being swaddled in cellophane and cheques are not bouncing but SuperBalls are, up against a brick wall, while Golden Retrievers fight their leashes. And in another part of the city, art is being explained to a young girl as parents argue via cell phone about soccer practice and violin lesson pickup and the priests are teaching freshly engaged couples about fidelity. But in every neighbourhood, it is beginning to rain. And the scent of it, the waking of old car oil and dust and asphalt and a fragrance that doesn’t come from the rain but should, it’s that wonderful, this scent is making everyone pause. Only for a second, just for a breath, they notice the air, and each part of the city feels exalted, uplifted, full of its own sweet self.
Julie Paul is the author of the short fiction collection, The Jealousy Bone (Emdash, 2008). Work has recently appeared in Qwerty, PRISM International and The Rusty Toque. She lives in Victoria, BC.