She was all sweetness and light
so much bright smiles and skipping sneakers
orange and pink and neon blue
homemade pancakes with chocolate chip eyes
for a while there was room for only fun

Now, the weather has grown cold
and slow jazz pours out of the speakers
molasses like

So tonight
I think I need heavy wool blankets
soft lights in the kitchen
and a half glass with no ice
somber and neat

"You mean like deli mustard?"

"Stop being cute at the wrong times."

It was some cold ass weather. There didn't seem to be any reason to argue the point. If there was anything he knew, being cute at the wrong time was important in ways most people would go a lifetime without being able to understand. They were always worried about the right place, the right time, the right thing to say... but in the end, the wrong time was always, without fail, more important.

"What would you like me to say?"

"Maybe, for once, you could say something that actually addresses the problem rather than just something random that skirts the issue."

"I never skirt the issue. You just don't pay attention very well when you're all consumed with feeling like someone ought to sing you a song that makes everything all better."

"I never asked you to make everything better."

"Good, because that is one thing I've never been able to do. Not very well, anyway."

She stood up. She wasn't sure why, but she needed to stand up. She called to the bartender. When he arrived she didn't know whether to order another drink or ask for the check.

"Check, please," she said, after a long and adulterous pause.

"Is that your answer?" he asked before letting the bartender know he wanted another round.

"I don't have any answers yet."

"Knowing that is half the distance."

"To where?" she asked angrily, tossing her credit card at the bartender.

"To figuring out where you are."



For all the Jennifers I've loved before...

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