I met Katherine in September. We were just getting the hang of the Georgia heat and it was all ready threatening winter. I lied to her to keep her near me. It was the worst thing I ever did.
The cold kept us together beyond that, the grad(more) student and the ballerina. Both talented in our ways we kept the other at bay, not letting anything important get spoken. I was turning 30, and she thought that was old.
Fourteen days into spring semester she decided that 22 and 30 were too far apart. I didn't have any cold to threaten her with. I agreed with her, and she left.
Summer semester blazed in, unannounced. It was to be my last to get my master's in Sociology. Very important. Very useful. I told her that I didn't want my old music back, that it was all for younger people, but I did want my Jethro Tull vinyl back. She relented and now I'm Thick as a Brick.
September's coming again, and I've got biting winds outside to once again reign her in. I have all of her jackets, too.(less)
"You have to season everything before you cook and you have to season as you add more ingredients," I told her as she looked at me with half interest. Elle and I had been dating for about 6 months after a a series of casual hook up ignited by our(more) local dive bar and the bowls of semi frozen liquor sold there in bright colors with little paper umbrellas. Elle was short with a curvy build and big round brown eyes, and thick brown hair that was always up unless she straightened for a special occasion. Elle is 6 years younger than me and at times it shows. Before we started dating she lived off delivery, and frozen food. I cooked everything from scratch. Shopped at the corner store on 25th and clement and bought fresh produce to make things that were not only healthy but tasty. The agreement was I cooked she'd clean.
I'd watch dishes languish in the skin. Like white petri dishes in an experiment growing fungus and bacteria that might finally give rise to the zombie apocalypse. Then I'd save the world and do her dishes and sometimes she'd notice and say thanks other times she wouldn't say shit.
It was always like this. I'd put in the effort, make things from scratch, build layers, upon layers, and give all I had. Elle would chill in the bed room watching Criminal Minds and smoke weed. "Can i give you a hand?" Was never uttered once. These are warning shots that went off in my mind and I muffled them out with beer and weed. She was cruising, but the night she had a work thing and she straightened her hair for a work I knew it was over. She never'd straightened her hair for me once.
do you remember December?
when you first took my heart. it was a cold night,
New Year's Eve to be exact.
You held me in your arms,
making false promises of never letting go.
that snowless winter,
(more) was the best of all.
only because I was yours. and you were mine.
do you remember
when you took my breath away?
you took my heart
And refused to give it back.
"Mine." you whispered.
why'd you change your mind?
I didn't want my heart back.
I'll leave it out front,
on this snowy day.
keep it. for old times sake.(less)
It was a quiet midsummer's day, about three in the afternoon. The humid haze was oppressive, coating the entire town with a contented languor, and Julie was abso-friggin'-lutely going to take advantage of the lack of school to just sit back, relax, and not worry about anything at all.(more) She's been working hard, man; all those triangles and dead people had weighed on her mind with such intensity that she's pretty sure she should be allowed to let it seep out and let it evaporate into the endless expanse of blue that hung above her.
Of course, she should've realized that relaxation was but a fleeting fancy.
An almighty shriek pierced her complacency and knocked her off the hammock (whose company she had so been enjoying). As it dissolved into anguished wails, Julie rushed through the house and arrived at the source - her sister was lying on the ground, body wracked with the power of her sobbs. "Karla, are you alright?!" Julie knelt next to the limp girl, shoving a laptop out of the way.
"No! I'm not! Everything is AWFUL and all my hopes and dreams are RUINED!" Karla buried her face into her sister's chest, rubbing snot at tears all over Julie's favorite shirt much to her disgust. But, well, she was obviously upset so Julie pushed aside her hygienic hang-ups and tried her best to comfort the distraught girl.
"Shhhhh, it'll all be fine. Just, what happened? What's wrong?" After swallowing some hiccups, Karla took a deep breath and mumbled something incomprehensible into the (quite disgusting) shirt. "Sorry, what?"
"'s not gonna be renewed."
"My favorite show! It's not gonna get a second season!"
Julie shoved her sister off and left. God, she needed a shower.(less)
They're leaving today--those sons of the sea. They lurk in between buildings, where no one has business to be. The space that lends itself to hovels.
I know one. Hutcherson. Oliver. We don't call each other by name, we don't even speak, when we see one another(more). Too much speaking dilutes experience. We sit on shoddy damp docks and swing our feet. I look at his eyes, I look into his eyes, I see things.
Sometimes, if we're feeling particularly lonely, we walk up the dock, up the hill, down the street, onto the grass, and vanish between the trees. We go off and feel lonely together.
A son of the sea never leaves the sea, he tells me. But a daughter of the land cannot go to sea, I tell him.
Time passed, and her face changed. Her skin became wan, riddled with blemishes and dark veins, and her hair thinned and lost its luster. Her cheeks and jaw lost their definition, the eye-catching bone structure that had once worked so strongly in her favor now lost to time. Some(more) of the brightness faded from her eyes, and in certain moments her gaze would even seem vacant. The thought of nothingness behind her face, flesh without a spark, frightened him terribly, more than he could have known possible when he first met her.
He still loved her. Maybe he loved her more now, because now it felt tinged with urgency, had to love her now before it was too late. If he sat down and really thought about it, maybe he just loved her differently, no more and no less than he had when he had first seen her, dark-haired, her skin tan, taut, shining and on display. It had been a summer day, and her eyes had outshone the sun.
They sat side by side at the kitchen table they’d bought decades ago. He could still remember that day. If he focused hard enough, he thought he could envision the green of their money as it hit the salesman’s outstretched hand. Her hand was in his, and her eyes were cast out the window that overlooked their yard, the ground dark and the trees bare. The winter sky above was empty and grey and seemed to expand forever in every direction, limitless. (less)
So imagine this: it’s nighttime, and it’s cold outside. Your coat is not as warm as you thought it’d be. It’s not snowing yet, but it will later. You don’t know that, though. All you know is that you can’t see the moon and the clouds look purple and(more) are swollen with precipitation. Are you waiting for someone? You must be, because why else would you be outside on a night like tonight? Whoever it is, they’re late. And it’s cold. You don’t think you can feel your fingers. You would be irritated if it didn’t take so much energy.
Those are your feet, right? Trying to get warm, are you? Good luck. Nights like this are nights were hobos freeze to death. But that makes you sad, so you stop thinking about it. You don’t like to think about things that make you sad. Who does? I guess that makes you a normal person.
Maybe all normal people are jackasses like you.
Sorry. That was harsh.
Imagine this instead: you’ve met whoever it is you’re meeting, and you’re both inside where it’s warm. There’s no fire, but there’s a mug of hot cocoa like your mom used to make. It was so much colder outside than it is in here that your fingers hurt. Wrapping around the mug doesn’t make it better.
It’s snowing now. Thick, fat flakes drift down outside your window. It would be pretty if you didn’t live in the city. But you do, so instead of thinking about the beauty, you think about what a pain it is going to be to get to work tomorrow. (less)
Seasons come, seasons go.
The trees don't change much - they drop their leaves in the autum and turn green again in the spring, sure, but they're always the same by summer. They're constant.
Then, one day, the plague came.
(more) In a few weeks, all the animals died and the plants withered. The humans fled from their cities, choking the roadways with the stench of death. Acid fell from the sky; the oceans spewed forth putrid foam on the beaches.
There were no more seasons. (less)
Seasons just started to melt together
I forgot how is the feeling of spring wind
Smell of summer rain
Color of autumn sunset
And bright of winter sunlight
But there's a fifth season
(more) When you're gone
I'm in that season
When night becomes day
And tides are upside down
When you shed your tears
There's not spring
And the eminent departure
We just can't say goodbye
So stars don't fall
In this eternal paradox
Seasons were forgotten long ago.
Only Irving remembered summer. Staying up all night because it was fresher, being an idiot with his friends on the beach until dawn, and then helping the fishermen during the morning.
(more) The young man took his sister by the hand and gently lead her to the beach, but she tried to stay away from the water as much as she can. The pale girl hiding under her parasol, her huge blue eyes fixed on him, kept shaking her head whenever he tried to go closer.
Cal's hydrophobia looked even worse than when they were children.
She hadn't said a word since Snow had died. Irving felt responsible.
"Can you feel the wind ? This is the wind from the sea, and this is the most pleasant thing ever for me."
"Close your eyes. Don't worry, the water will never eat us. You feel how hot the sun is ? The wind from the sea ?"
A small nod again. He could see her relax a little, although her small hand was shaking in his.
"This is summer. Soon, it will be the afternoon, it will be too hot and we will have to come back to a fresh place. The house. And I'll make you lemonade. I'm sure you're going to like my lemonade. And then, we'll stay up late because nights are fresher.
That's summer in Four, summer for your brother Irving."
A tug at his hand. As if she was saying "let's come home ?"(less)
Most of the world has four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.
Pittsburgh has four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.
Almost Winter does not have a specific start date, like Fall, but starts once(more) the high temperature fails to reach 40 F for three days in a row after October 15. At this point, Pittsburgh is in Almost Winter until December 21.
Winter, like its regular counterpart, lasts from December 21 to March 21.
While most of the Northern Hemisphere celebrates Spring on March 21, Pittsburgh begins Still Winter. This is an extension of Winter, and usually lasts until mid to late April, when the high temperature stays above 60 F for at lease a week straight.
Once the high temperature reaches 60 F for at least a week straight, Pittsburgh celebrates the season of Construction. This lasts until the weather turns cold again, usually in October or later. This season is punctuated by the blooming of the state flower, The Orange Construction Barrel, and the state motto "Welcome to Pennsylvania, Construction Zone Next 330 Miles." This is the most joyous time of year, when people, mostly underworked and overpaid, stand around, proudly showing off their orange vests, and pretend to do some actual work. Of course, just like the mating habits of the salmon, this is ultimately fruitless with little to show. Come Almost Winter, the roads will once again be filled with holes.
Thus, the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life, continues unabated, from Almost Winter to Winter to Still Winter to Construction Season and back to Almost Winter. Just as the old giraffe dies to make room for the younger of the herd, so too the seasons of Pittsburgh.