My left foot is crunching on dry brown leaves and frosted grass, while my right foot is falling on the concrete sidewalk. It’s 5:30pm and dark enough to be midnight. December 9th. Days are short these days.
I’m carrying in my mail and shouldering my bag. My breath is swirling behind me and I can hear the engine of my car tinking as it quickly cools. All of the cars in the parking lot are spritzed with rock salt except the one in the handicapped spot. Sporadic lights are on in the building where I live, not all of us are home.
Someday I’ll live in a house. My house.
In my house I’ll have a wood-burning fireplace with soot around the edges. And a pile of split birch wood next to it.
It’s windy tonight. My muscles tense to keep warm and I close my eyes tight for a moment while walking. I can feel my nose turning pink. My fingers are mechanically clamped on the envelopes and holiday issue of Land’s End. No gloves.
In my house I’ll have a kitchen table of knotted wood. And heavy bowls set out with soup spoons by their sides.
I’m fumbling with my keys because my fingers are frozen around the mail. My doorway is dark. Brown dry leaves are huddled up in the corner, blown in. Everything is quiet besides the clinking of my keys. I can’t see very well what I’m doing.
In my house I’ll have a little cat. She’ll wake up and blink her eyes when I walk in at 5:30 on a Tuesday. Warm, content, and waiting.