A man exits his car on my street, wearing shorts and old running shoes under a peacock. He carries a Chrome messenger bag over his back, with a hard guitar case in one hand and an armload of clothes in the other. His house is only a few steps away. Heat rises off his bare shins. I am wearing three pairs of pants and have sweated through the first two, but I cannot feel my toes.

My breath still smells like the meatball with apricot barbecue sauce I sampled at Trader Joe's. There are rice and beans and bread and hummus and apples in the kitchen, waiting for me to eat them. It might only be my imagination that the posts holding up the porch steps are growing farther apart every day. They are covered in ice, and I take off my gloves to grip the frozen handrail. By the time I get to the back door, I can't hold my keys. The first thing I do after I get inside is to strip two layers of clothing and stand with my toes bare against the kitchen tile floor, waiting to feel the cold seep in.

Feeling the cold is better than not feeling at all.

30 January 2014 10:57

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