Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit, right-o, right-o, it had been said, and bore repeating. This being the case, feet vanish in snow in the manner teeth disappear into Hostess cupcakes. It had been that there were no snowballs, only Snoballs. Now the weather is a ubiquity, consuming. We talk about it.
Dear One, I never knew the contents of my nose could freeze, but here we are, me and these two pebbles, and the masking-tape crime-scene shape of where you were for a time; is this often the case at so-many below? you’re the expert, I, inclined to warmer climes. How strange it feels. You: Pish posh, you get used to it. It’s a comfort. We revert.
Me: Brrrrrrrrrrinkatinkatinkatinkatinkatink, brrrrrrrrrrrrinkatinkatinkatinkatinkatinkatink
You: OH baby BAY-beh, ohbaby BAY-beh, OH baby BAY-beh
Me: I frostbite, he frostbites, they have frostbited, we comma having frostbitten comma Pass The Salt
The weather scurries into boots like lice which do not jump or fly but run very fast. Feet cripple with a feeling I must strictly disallow in that space between the between the chest and belly. Jesus That Really Hurts ! There was color but now there is absence. There was a barge but now there is not. There was snow but now there is ice. There is a plastic wotter bottle Plastic water bottle on the lake which is frozen. There is a still life in dinosaur figurines. They are still because they are frozen. The flowers are plastic (they are still because they are plastic.) there are curtains in the window. There are no lights. The lights are off. There are no lights. There is no gate. There is a hole in the fence. The hole in the fence is the gate. Is it or is it not Where are you to say. We talk about it.
Me: You are the expert
You: You know as much as I do
Me: You are the noblest savage / you are so far away from me You: Sorry The connection is bad Say it again
Me: Which of us is the dog, and which is the vomit
You: It doesn’t look good either way
Dear One, You don’t remember but I couldn’t forget trying to forget what my hands were doing over the Funyuns at the Woods Mart before the man in the Third Ward cultivated his garden with pickings from the Dollar Store when we sweat sweat sweat sweat sweated out the first days of the first summer which seemed so indecent since I (me me me me) am a woman who does not discuss sweat Or Other Things That Bodies Do Now about those snot rocks
You: Brrrrrick a tick a tick a tick a
Me: There was a pub. There was a sign on the pub. The sign said it was closed. The snow that was not snow felt like a pin cushion. It felt like exfoliating. There was an outhouse. There was a wood canoe. Am I painting a picture
You had said that you were afraid an escalator would eat your feet. I had said that I knew right where you were coming from. From whence you were coming. I said, this is where I come from
MORGAN CHILDS is an American writer living in Prague.