A Man in the Snow

Photo by Lara Alegre

What do you think of A Man in the Snow?

I don’t think much of him.

He lies there, still and freezing. It’s his art. A silent performance in the snow.

He’s in a fucking snowsuit. I mean, it’d be at least a little interesting if he was in the nude.

What I like is how the installation is never the same twice. Sometimes he’s deep in the snow. Other times there’s just a little snow, and he lies down on it. Once in a while you can catch him when it’s actually snowing, and he lets the snowflakes fall and melt on his face. Often it’s cold enough to see the artist’s breath as he looks up into the winter sky, but not always.

You ever read a book more than once? It’s never the same book twice. And it’s always going to be more interesting than a man lying faceup in the snow.

You just don’t understand.

That’s true. But what is there to understand? It’s a man lying in the snow for precisely six hours. Big deal. It’s hardly a performance when he doesn’t even move.

He moves people’s emotions.

How? He’s not even doing anything. What’s he trying to say with this stunt?

Just look.

I’m looking.

What do you see?

Just a man in the snow.

No, what you’re seeing isn’t just a man in the snow, but a piece of art called A Man in the Snow.

What’s the difference?

Nothing. And everything.


Thanks for reading! This story is part of my 2018 challenge to write one dialogue-only story every week for a year. These stories come in a lot of styles and explore quite a variety of subjects. More information on the challenge and my dialogues can be found here on my website and on this descriptive contents page. Some links to other dialogues available to read on Medium are listed below.

About the author: Randal Eldon Greene is the Author of Descriptions of Heaven, a modern Gothic tale about a linguist, a lake monster, and the looming shadow of death. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, journals, zines, and anthologies. His typos are tweeted @AuthorGreene and his website is AuthorGreene.com