Snow Angels

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    I laid on the sofa, heavy with alcohol and grass, eyelids stuttering, fragmented glimpses of December snow through the window. A spent bottle of whiskey on the coffee table overlooking stoically a full ashtray and an empty pack of cigarettes, a pipe crafted of sturdy glass. I could feel the nerves burning beneath my skin and twinges of vertigo muddled my view. The crackle and hiss of Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” filtered warmly through the speakers of an unseen stereo. No desire to move from my place there on the sofa. It wasn’t so bad – I was comfortable anyway. I heard a shuffle of footsteps from the hall, distant, then gradually moving closer. Then, a soft voice coming from the right.
“Are you feeling okay?”
Painstakingly, I turned my head to meet the sound and saw her standing by the record player wearing a thick blue robe, nursing a glass of water in one hand, blonde hair slightly disheveled. She gazed at me from behind tortoise-shell frames perched neatly upon the bridge of her nose, and my lips almost involuntarily worked themselves into a half smile.
“Yeah. I’m fine,” My throat was dry, “Just a bit drunk.” I brought my legs closer to my stomach so that she could sit down.
“Do you need to throw up?” She asked, tilting her head just slightly toward her shoulder. She took the spot at the other end of the sofa, legs folded beneath her, elbow resting upon the back of the sofa, head resting upon her hand.
“You’re cute when you’re drunk.”
“Heh. Thanks.” I chuckled, “But no, I’ll be fine. I could use a smoke though.”
“Did you smoke your entire pack already? Fuck. I feel like you just bought it. Hold on, I’ll grab mine from the kitchen.” She rose from the sofa and walked off. I heard the click of a light switch, her muttering something. The light switch clicked again, and she returned to her spot across from me, holding a crumpled box of cigarettes.
“Do you have a light?” She asked, producing two from the pack.
“Yeah, hold up,” I searched my pocket and found a red bic. She tucked both cigs between her lips, lit them, inhaled deeply. She removed one, extending it to me.
“Thanks,” I slurred as I reached for it. I inhaled ponderously, smoke storming my lungs. I tried to muster up the strength to sit up, to lean into her and kiss her before she took her next drag, but it wasn’t happening. I pouted.
“Ugh. I can’t even move.”
“You poor thing,” She cooed, brushing her hand against my cheek, “You’re red-flagged for the night, sweets.”
“You think?” I smirked, motioning toward the empty bottle on the table. I tried again to sit up, succeeding this time.
“Is tomorrow Sunday?”
“Technically that’s today.” She replied.
“Good,” I sighed, “I want to sleep in.” I moved forward and kissed her on the cheek. Her skin warmed against my lips.
“We’ll sleep in past noon and eat breakfast food at the diner just like we used to,” She said.
“Promise?” I kissed her cheek again.
“I promise.” We smoked the rest of our cigarettes in silence, a comfortable silence. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by,” I crushed my cigarette sort of haphazardly in the ashtray between the countless others. Gray flecks jolted upward and spread down across the coffee table.
“That’s what happens when you grow up,” She exhaled, “Days just seem to flow together to the point where you barely recognize them anymore.”
“I know. Some days it’s just harder than others. That’s all…” I trailed off, shifting my eyes to the window where outside the snow was still falling, and then back to her.
“You’re beautiful, you know that?”
“That’s what you tell me anyway,” She blushed.
“I mean it.”
“Thanks, babe.” She pressed her lips lightly against mine and I shivered with delight. Still, after all this time. Blood barreled furiously through my vessels, and I couldn’t contain the stupid, shit-eating grin growing slow yet fierce across my face. All this time, and she could still make me a giddy and quivering mess. I wrapped my arms around her, clutching her blue robe, the softness of the cotton overwhelming my hands and I buried my face in the space where her neck and jaw meet. I could have spent the rest of my life nestled in that spot and been utterly content. There, I was safe from all the mounting pressures of adulthood – rent and utilities, my crap job, political divisions, economic turmoil, bad drivers, responsibilities. There, I was a dumb and innocent student again, the same student who first saw her amid a mass of inconsequential people polluting a poorly lit bar with their being there. The scene grew vivid in my mind and suddenly, I was there again, in that bar, being introduced by a mutual friend, offering to buy her a drink, and talking with her the entire night about postmodernism and poetry and punk rock and jazz, constantly worrying about boring her with my gab, constantly worrying that she would lose interest, and nevertheless, I felt that I had finally arrived home after a bitter excursion through unfriendly lands. I breathed deeply her smell and reluctantly moved my head away from the safety of its shelter. We lingered in silence for a few minutes more
“I wanna make snow angels.” I finally spoke. She burst into laughter and ran her fingers across the back of my head.  
“Baby, it’s past 3 in the morning and you’re barely functional. You need to get some sleep.”
“But I don’t want to go to sleep,” I whined, simpering “I want to make snow angels.” She shook her head affectionately, and pulled me in close.
“How about after breakfast tomorrow we go to the park, and we can make snow angels and whatever else you want to do.”
“That would be lovely,” I felt that shiteating grin overcome my face again, and I kissed her longingly on the lips as the final notes of “A Love Supreme” resonated through the stereo.

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