It feels like the tail end of winter, like the hard part is over. It feels. But it’s not true. Time is a circle and it’s barely mid-February. But two days of sun feel like more hope than I’ve got since the beginning of the year. People in parks, streets, squares, terraces. Making music, drinking, hanging. It’s like the outside’s in color again, like music is made of sounds. Polarize has meaning, infused directly into my bones. Brussels is my oyster.
Villo and Lime don’t want me but my legs will push me through. I sit cross-legged at the Vismet and drown my home-made pistolet au salami in unintelligible Flemish. Still in Vismet, I find a forceful bout of sunshine to help me draw Miles Morales. Brussels lives around me.
I rock out to my phone and walk and walk and walk and barely stop for coffee. It is gross how much I am one with this city. Lonely fucking town, I love your tourists and your hills and your hard edges and waiting eight minutes for a metro. The moon is out over the Cinquantenaire. Nothing scares me.
There’s something in the air, in the late afternoon of my sweet countryside town, something that brings me back to walks in the early spring of secluded Belgian parks. Something about the softness of the sun, a certain crisp chill in the air, the smell of trees breathing in and out.
Brussels is amazing in the spring. When the sun is up before you and keeps you company all the way to work. When trees seem to come out of hibernation and suddenly the grey streets burgeon with bright spots of green and soft blue. People everywhere on lawns and monument steps. Cafes sprout terraces benevolently lit up by a stray ray of sunlight.
Street musicians dust their accordions and get off the subway to play in the cramped shopping streets or the deserted square in front of the Opera. There’s probably not a lot of money to make there, but the acoustics are amazing.
If you’re really quiet and the tram isn’t passing by, sometimes you can even hear birds. Or run and chase pigeons off the Grand Place if it pleases you. It’s still a bit cold so you go and get a waffle from the ice cream truck and you eat it at a bus stop, lulled to satisfaction by the sun reflecting off the plastic ads.
Soon it will be time to trade jackets and scarves for… lighter jackets and scarves. Soon it will be May and the streets around the Square Jourdan market will smell like lilies.
There’s something in the air, maybe you’re in love, a little bit.
Maybe you’re in love with the city.