January 22

If someone has sent you something on paper it has to be something of great import.  A bill.  A love note.  Those two things are more alike than you’d think.  They both have the capacity to ruin your life, depending on whether you’re young or old or just poor or starved for affection or either/or; love is not picky.

I keep having dreams about you.  Your hair is reddish gold in the sunlight and you have cut it off until it is short and even all over your head, like fur.  I dream about running my fingers through it.  I dream about you falling asleep next to me.  The conditions for survival are this: never look back and always believe you are better than you are and that is, I suppose, where the gold comes in.  Call me an idiot but never call me uninformed.

You have tiny feet, too.  Tiny slender feet and strong, stubby legs, legs that stopped you from being a dancer because in ballet they want you to be as tall and thin as possible.  I would never.  I would break.  I would flinch the first time I saw a broken toenail.  My dance teacher never let us sit down during class.  ”It cramps your muscles,” she said.  I don’t know if that’s true or not but even now I don’t sit down when I’m working, I pace.  Back and forth.  Stronger with every turn around the room.  More determined.  Under my feet are iron and ice, which is a combination that is not as strong as it sounds like, but appearance is everything.

White: the absence of color.  Brown: the color of your shirt today.  Your hair is the color of wheat in a pre-Raphaelite painting, if they ever painted such mundane things as wheat.  I wanted to keep looking at you forever but I kept being distracted by things like what was going on in class, silly things, really, I’ve already done double integrals, in a past life, it seems like.  It’s like walking half a mile in heels on a day where the temperature never climbs above freezing and by the time you reach the destination it’s already nighttime.  The day is worn out and has retreated to its room.

I am not as alone as I think and the color brown is proof of that.