Staring into the sky, wondering at the blue, mesmerized, I caught the corner of my bag on the edge of a newspaper box and immediately turned to apologize. The world is turning, bringing my patch of Earth into sight of the sun, yanking flowers out of their buds, insisting we all move forward, drag ourselves out of wool coats towards the light. I am meeting Michael for lunch again, as I have every day since we met on the bus two weeks ago. We sit in the park when the weather is like this and eat our sandwiches lying on a blanket made of our overlapping jackets. Soon it will be summer and we will no longer need our coats. What then? Perhaps I will keep a cloth folded in my desk for our noon hour picnics. Perhaps by then we’ll be dead. Why think about it now, when the sun is out and company waits?
Laid out on the bed like a window display, later, Michael and Emily, Randa and her kitten, Nicole and Ray, hiding from hockey, from being outside. Someone laughs, percussive, a wildfire spreading. I smile as I stand in the doorway, warmed, another full pot of tea in hand, (the mellow red packet marked JOY in black letters), feeling welcome in my social space for the first time in a very long time, following the breadcrumb sound like a trail in a forest. It has been too long since I’ve had friends over, since I’ve done anything but hide out of town, too busy dismantling the quicksand feeling of holding onto a stalled relationship to have people over during the week or really go out. Already it’s gotten dark, but we don’t care if it’s getting late. We’re sitting in the comfortable jewel-tone pillow heart of our own entertaining light.