vagaries of a vitriolic mind

Fiction, 1/21/09

Dressed warmly in winter layers, lying face-up in the snow with arms and legs outstretched, she’s more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen. The girl quickly jumps to her feet. The snow angel left in her place is immaculate, well-proportioned, and obviously honed from practice. She smiles and laughs, dimpling smooth cheeks flushed from exertion and the cold. My own angel somehow looks squat, bow-legged—the work of an amateur. She doesn’t seem to mind. Her dark brown eyes sparkle mischievously as she reaches down to pack a snowball, mittened hands scooping the powder with earnest determination. The snow’s too dry; we end up liberally dusting one another with fistfuls of icy fluff. We laugh in lieu of conversation, and this seems just right.

Inside her house now, she apologizes about the mess strewn across the living room, but I can hardly complain. What I see is a glimpse of her life laid bare: knitting needles and half-sewn garments on the couch, coffee table piled high with soon-to-be-wrapped gifts and forgotten dishes, stacks of books on the floor, heaps of videocassettes everywhere. This is creative chaos, arranged in perfect disarray. I feel fortunate to bear witness to it. She eagerly shows off her projects, deftly snatching up scraps of cloth and gutted book-bindings from around the room and explaining their eventual manifestations to me, the wide-eyed observer. I can only nod in comprehension, for the excited stream of words pouring forth from her lips leaves little room for reply. She’s clearly in her element and giddy as hell. Smitten and enamored, I’m positively swooning over her. This must be a dream, I tell myself, even as I cradle a steaming mug of cocoa between my knees, even as I glance at the clock and realize it’s 4 in the morning.

Many would ask, what’s the point in pursuing such folly? Only a masochist, knowing full well the futility of his actions, would continue to indulge so carelessly. I can scarcely disagree with them. But to feel a connection with her, however faint and fleeting, and to feebly grasp that wisp of belonging I’ve dearly missed and unabashedly craved for months—this is reason enough for me.

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