when the fog rolls into town

fog rolling through Secret Beach, photo by me. 

there's something incredibly romantic about the fog.

not in a lovey-dovey sort of way, but in a euphoric feeling with life itself. everything around you seems to shrink when it's foggy. everyone is bundled in a comforting blanket, squeezed together in a friendly group hug while a translucent, mysterious haze hangs in the air, softening all of the world's rough edges.

it's like being immersed inside a glass of creamy coconut milk.

shadows tease you as they peer out from behind a curtain of thick white gauze, their true form unable to coalesce through the luminescent vapour clouding reality. lights try in vain to pierce through the mist, but their hues are subdued into nothing more than glowing halos hovering over flickering candles, while their silhouettes dance with ghosts floating through the air.

you don't walk through fog — you stroll — and for a moment you become impossibly cool, like James Dean or Humphrey Bogart, swaggering down a dark and moody Manhattan street.

your face becomes wet from the thickness hanging in the cool breeze, and you've never breathed air so crisp and fresh. the mist kisses you on the cheeks, you can taste it on the tip of your tongue. you're cautious, yet intrigued by the fog's intimate embrace.

sound has been hushed, deadened and dampened in a dull silence. footsteps fall and land with a hollow thud. voices become muffled. car doors close, but you can never tell from where. you can hear the clip-clop of heals walking down a never-ending sidewalk, yet they never seem to arrive.

the deep baritone of fog horns blast intermittently from passing ships, echoing all along the coast, a message that trumpets their presence to all of the meek little boats that honk back in reply.

the sea becomes sky. the two merge. the horizon fades, and both become one.

if the sun is able to shine from behind its thick covering, everything beams. you're blinded. you squint, yet you still can't see any further than a few feet in front of your face. a giant ball of glowing yellow-white light washes over you, soft and filtered, warming your skin. yet despite how bright it may shine, all remains unseen.

if you look closely, you can see individual droplets hanging in the dense air. dewdrops gather on twigs and tiny fisheye bubbles cover most everything. and if you find yourself in the thick of it, it feels like you're walking through a cloud; you're floating on the ground, and the sky is at your feet.

some folk seem to be haunted by the fog. they feel threatened by its intimacy. they feel trapped and shut-in by its sudden walls that close off the rest of the visible world. they're claustrophobic by it's mysterious intent. they feel it hides something evil or untoward, perhaps a reminder of a horror movie they once saw as a child as they hid behind cushions on their couch. they panic as their minds take wild and imaginative leaps, convincing them that there might be a man in a mask with an axe lurking behind the upcoming bend.

it's not like that for me though. you see, when the fog rolls into town i become awash with a calm and serene presence. i get giddy in anticipation for what's about to come. i'm swept away, spiralling and tumbling down a long and mystical slide, falling onto the open pages of an ever-changing storybook fantasy, one that has no beginning and has no end.

and when i open my eyes, all i see is a world where dreams matter more than money, where imagination matters more than power, and where all the things once deemed impossible, can now become real.

brian thompson