Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg lied to us as we travelled childlike through their bellies, waiting for ice to come dripping from their mouths and onto our heads,
Each day the weatherman knocked on our door to tell us that today was the day, that snow would come falling like the end of a millennium and all that hush.
But his clothes were always wrong. He wasn’t wearing boots and his hat was permeable.
We should have known, the way mothers know when something is wrong and the house starts to feel closed in and dim and all the soft, soft carpets make you want to crawl out of your skin.
But we kept following the promises; we were rail cars bumping into the next country, easy and stupid like trees lined up around the mountains where there is snow on the ground.
And I swear we saw the weatherman standing between the trees, wearing shorts this time, looking up at the sky.
It snowed for five minutes while we rode the train into Salzburg. It stopped when the doors opened.
The news was on, saying tomorrow again.
I began to worry that all the snow on the ground was sprinkled there by the locals, set up for us like a nativity scene, just as promising, just as mythical. And the weatherman turned the temperature down on the ground each night just enough to keep it frozen. This is his best senior prank and he was voted most likely to kill off his own mother with a shotgun as well as most likely to blow an interview, have coffee breath.
His high school girlfriend doesn’t leave the house, only watches sci-fi, and keeps her blinds drawn.
I don’t think it’s ever snowed in Salzburg. I think the weatherman is crumbling. He’s wearing sandals now.
About the author
Annie Robertson has fallen down in about ten of Italy's best cities and remembers each by their souvenir scars. She has wandered graveyards in…Read the full bio
Issue 18 · June 2013
Table of contents
- From the editors
- Postcard Prose
- Travel Notes