I walked the frozen streets of my little sleepy flyover city tonight.
The arctic air strained hard at my chest. Each breath seemed filled with piercing little icicles of crisp uncertainty stabbing at exposed, tender flesh.
A familiar ache coursed through veins pumping more whiskey than blood. But the night was brittlely cold and the gentle kiss of a familiar anesthetic promised me a temporary warmth. And I had to steal the significance of that moment.
The streets were empty, save for the cast off traces of winter lingering hard in rapidly solidifying mountains of frozen inhibition piled by the roadside.
A siren screeched somewhere in the night. The clarity of the air carrying the sound far longer than should be reasonable for such a late hour.
I played no music; I spoke no words.
The only tangible sound was the ice covered snow crunching underneath the pressing weight of my frigid restlessness.
Always compelled to move. Always pushing to propel myself out of the constant claustrophobia of each individual moment. Always throwing cautious adherence aside for the sake of a ridiculous new story.
Staying stationary is lethal. It suffocates the soul in imperceptible snippets of lazy miscalculation. It chokes out possibility and deviously invalidates the creativity, dying slowly in that sequestered captivity.
I thought about her. I thought about what it meant to kiss her like I did. I thought about where that kiss might take me next, as we try our best to figure out the next step.
Things were supposed to go slow. And in some ways, they did. Right up until the moment we could actually touch one another. And hold each other. And make amazingly uncomplicated love together high in the mountains, under the chill of that Tennessee winter sky.
Having basked in the heated indulgence of her, I’m left shivering bare in her absence. I felt the distance more than I did the biting chill of the wind tonight, stinging hard against naked flesh. But they both left me feeling incomplete.
Because it’s fucking impossible to properly function when your heart is 447 miles away.
All I have tonight is this empty flyover City of Wayne. And a carefully collected stash of text messages saved to remind me of the things that are worth fighting for.
I read her words at the water’s edge, as the ice creaked and groaned with steady contractions.
She often tells me to get out of my head. And tonight, those reminders seemed to carry even more weight within the context of an echoing and persistent dark night of the soul.
Usually, it is music that helps pull me back from that edge. Sometimes, it is a deeply ingrained sense of frustrating Hoosier persistence that I’ve never been able to completely shake. But tonight, it was her words that anchored me on the virtuous side of decision.
She said I was her favorite kiss. I told her that she is my very best story. That’s really all we will ever need. The rest is just details.
So it would seem that the clever little mountain bunny continues to teach this stubborn flatland fox some new tricks after all.
And I never want to stop learning.