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Because I had some free time, but not enough….

Untitled (suggestions welcome)

We rub each other’s feet. His touch, dry and rough, is a shiver. He doesn’t believe in manicures, wears a thousand scars, doesn’t care. His hands, charged and lined, map the chaos of his mind.

He coughs, spews into a tissue, and grins. I frown. Eyes twinkling sharp and clear, he hides behind his calm, a stone warmed in the sun.

Shifting, I push my feet closer to him, under the blanket and away from the cold. The TV is in one room, the wood burning stove in another.  We like it that way, one focus at a time, moods not interchangeable in seconds, though I suspect he humors me.  Escape is something he does well.  I prefer whiskey, but he does not seem to mind.

Is it possible to accept so much? Does he bury judgement like coughs, so it chafes his heart in the dark? Movies make him cry.

Pulling my foot so I slide on the couch, he runs his fingers up my leg. I have not shaved today and am embarrassed by the stubble. Intent on touch, he doesn’t notice. Palms flat, heat spreading, I forget the movie, my whiskey, the cold.

His eyes are glued to the screen. Images flash, faces flicker, blue light reflects in the darkened window pane. A dog barks at the door. Pulling away from him, I rise, untangle myself from the blanket, and put bare feet on the tile floor.

The chill wind whips into the room with the dogs. They circle him, tails wagging and  tongues lolling, until he pats the blanket and they jump. Rolling atop him like puppies, he is covered in hair and smell and warmth. The sound of his laughter, hoarse and true, is a river.

Shivering, I shut the door and wait. He will remember me soon.