on snow and goodbyes

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The snow piles up outside the windows, turns my garden to ice sculptures, insulates everything inside of itself. I’ve seen snow and winter and cold, and yet every time, I am surprised. I feel new to the way it bites at me when I step outside, the way it wedges between my drawn arms, our chapped hands. Looking at you reminds me of those animals who only look their proper color in the snow fall, as if nature is stronger in this season.

It’s true, everyone is all of everything, or they are nothing at all. And you my dear are all helping hands and bent knees when the drift blows over. It’s painted the world outside in hours, it’s given us new playgrounds, new routes, new ways to make trouble in alleyways. We go out adventuring like the last people on earth. My toes ache.

Winter feels natural for this, for us, it is the first season which doesn’t feel foreign and new with you. For the first time, I have memories. I have memories of the heater on the bathroom floor and the small sink, and the frozen kitchen and the tree outside the bedroom window that never grew leaves until we moved out. I have memories of frozen cars and walks home from the bar with frozen lips and tights and dresses and sweaters and the crooked christmas tree you cut down, and how many different ways I didn’t know you yet. What a mess I was. What a mess we both were. What did I call us, nothing but loss and nerve endings? Sounds right. No matter how bright the snow fell, we still had to melt through our own ice sculptures, so perfectly designed.

And someday memories will be tail lights and running out the front door to say goodbye, and phone calls, and long stretches of alone time pretending you’re downstairs. There isn’t a day I don’t wake up thankful, that this is even something I can pretend.