I was driving back to my house the other day, under the speed limit because of the recent snow. It hardly ever snows much where I live, and what little we usually get just melts in a day, but this time there was enough to stick around and turn slushy and brown.
I had spent a few days in the city where we both used to live, and one night I ended up at the coffee shop we always went to on Sunday mornings after spending Saturday night together. Sort of our own little church service, a way to cleanse ourselves from the sins of the night before, using coffee and pastries as our own sacred host. This is my body, sacrificed for you.
I remember how we met, at that New Year’s party. There was about 50 of us packed in a living room, dancing more the more we drank. I was outside when the clock turned over, but when I went inside a few minutes later you found me and asked me if I’d gotten a kiss yet. I said no and you kissed me right on the lips. We’d only met earlier that evening, and when I told you I didn’t remember your name you only said “yeah,” and kissed me again. I knew it was all over.
You moved to Chicago eight months later to start a better job, and I even drove up to visit you twice. The first time I spent a week, seeing what your life was like there; the second time I sat on your bed and watched you as you laid on the floor. The sun was coming in through your blinds, striping your naked body like a tiger, and when I said how much I loved the freckle on your left hip you broke up with me.
As I was driving up the highway I was thinking about the melting stuff on the sides of the road, and how it’s the one thing that ruins snow for me. I love the clean silence of it all, how snow can cover every flaw and soften sharp edges, but I hate how if there’s enough of it everything turns to brown slush after a day or two. It reminds me of a terrible idea, that nothing good can stay. For instance, you live in Chicago and I don’t.