The gray world endures the worst of us, our rages and calamities, our speed and weakness. All fog arising from the icy earth, all cloud cover and blind-eye sun. The ragged hills are hidden and the whole world ends just beyond the reach of our headlights' reach. The chill takes me by the shoulders, and everything is in swift decline.
The job is taking a heavy tole. A knot kicked into my left thigh, a knee beat and bunged by hard floors and harder heels. Scrapes and scratches from mad thrashing, and the sad persistence of evil antecedents wrapped around a child's mind. It has no claim on me, it is not my calling. I am simply laden by a sense of duty and the need to act despite the odds. Personal loyalties that push my buttons and my limits. No satisfaction, no rewards, and very little compensation. All that, plus repeated assaults.
This chill is upon me. It is a cold that does not linger in the weather, it is not the cold of sea and stone. This is the slow feathering of lost hope, the dry creeping ache of the soul dissolving slowly through the flesh. The clipped wings of distance, the resolute fall of flight boiling down to feathers and wax. The week is over, the day is done. The gray world remains unmoved.