blackrockcity_yearround sectional graphic

across the tracks

By felonious asparagus

i got your invitation today. it had been sitting in the post office since saturday, when i received the notice: signature required. today was the first day i had time to go and get it. i was irked by the thought of having to bike all the way over to the post office, although it's only a few minutes away.

grey skies threatening rain or worse. it's cold enough to wear hat and mittens. i ride through my neighborhood and zigzag across the four sets of railroad tracks, careful not to catch my wheels and kiss the asphalt. i'd rather be kissing soft lips under your gaze, but that will come soon enough. the cuff of my jeans rubs against the oily chain.

past the steel yard, the trailer park, the lot where the school buses are parked idle. it begins to rain lightly as i pull up to the post office. i sign my name and am handed the envelope. i know what it contains but have forgotten what it means. you don't write often, you know.

on the way back something begins to shift. the red of the steel yard seems more vibrant than normal. it begins to hail and i enjoy the sharp stings on my face. when i next see you, it'll be hot and dusty and i'll have trouble recalling the feel of this cold, blustery april morning. the grass is a radiant green, the trees are in full bloom. crossing the tracks on the way back becomes a game, not a chore.

back in the safety and warmth of my house, i tear the envelope open. a piece of thin cardstock, five and seven-sixteenth by two and one-eighth of an inch. it's beautiful. there you are, at the center of the cosmos. i've always liked your sass, your tongue-in-cheek sense of your own importance. but for a brief week each year, you ARE the center of the universe. and then suddenly, you're gone, and i blink and rub my eyes and wonder if i just imagined you. there's no way this could have all happened?

depending on the angle i hold the paper, your image glimmers purple or green or yellow or red. i'm amazed at your power to beckon me to you. when i next see you you'll be lying on your back, staring at the heavens. later in the week, you'll rise to your feet. but i get ahead of myself.

like most of my relationships, it's the potentiality that excites me, the beckoning, the dance. your letter is a reminder for me to start dreaming hard, to be here now, to explode my myths and see clearly once more. i'll only be alive for another few years. i miss the bus to work as i write this. i don't care.

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