The Hours of Twilight

utena

Alli came home and placed her wet umbrella in the holder. Outside the spring rain was just picking up, flattening blades of grass. She wiped her feet on the welcome mat and hung up her heavy coat.

Ran stood in the kitchen, stirring a large pot of soup. She tasted it occasionally, nibbled the celery, added a little bit more chicken broth. They met in the entryway to the kitchen and embraced in front of the island. “I missed you,” said Ran.

“I came in and I smelled the soup. It really raised my spirits,” Alli said.

“Well you’re safe and warm now,” Ran said, hugging her again.

Alli went to the shower. Steam beaded on the glass door. The massage jet sent a cascade of soothing water pouring down on her sore muscles.

Outside, Ran asked her, “Well, how much did you lift at the gym?”

“I benched 110 once, and 90 several times,” Alli admitted.

“Getting back to the 500-pound club I see,” Ran said. She poured the soup into two bowls.

They sat cooling the meal. Ran had set the table with two candlesticks, even though there wasn’t any special occasion.

Alli broke the bread and gave Ran a piece. “Is it nice to have someone to cook for again?” she asked.

“Yes,” Ran answered, “I was single for almost five years, after a relationship that lasted two years. It took me a while to get over that.”

“But get over it, you did,” Alli smiled. She rested her hand on Ran’s.

the '90s

A Place Outside Time

never stop trappin'

Kaan walked the path, covered in damp leaves. The trees stood out in sharp relief against the white sky. The clouds rolled and expanded out, climbing down the mountains. The branches were empty, scraggly veins written on the firmament.

The woods smelled of wet earth. It had rained that morning. Droplets budded where leaves had once shaken in the cold, autumn wind.

The trees were thinning. Through the gnarled trunks, Kaan could see the old house, shingles hanging lopsided, roof full of holes. No one had been to the gray structure in years.

She stopped in the woods. Coming off the path, she could see the door leaning, barely on its hinges. Dead foliage filled the front lawn. Dry grass curled into the dust. The mailbox stood askew in the wet, sunken ground. Kaan didn’t go in yet. She thought of Aspen.

Why did you leave me?

She could almost see her here: Aspen in a lacy, white dress, holding a frilly parasol aloft, twirling it – lifting one dainty, black Jimmy Choo-clad foot in the air, smelling of hard candy.

They had run the book store together, with its low ceilings and leaky bathroom faucet. After work, Kaan would charge off on her Harley, and Aspen would yell at her to slow down, camel skin pea coat swirling around perfect legs, calves sculpted by months of spinning classes.

Kaan sat down on the low wooden steps, half rotted through. Love is a haunted house standing in your heart, Kaan thought. She lit a Newport and had to really drag on it to get the fire going. She lay down on the forgotten porch, cigarette smoke spiraling up idly, some getting in her nostrils – the rest, catching the next breeze into the stratosphere.

She found herself crying, chest heaving helplessly on the frigid boards, far away, in some forest in Maine. I miss you. Why won’t you come back? Not even her black leather jacket protected her from the cold, the thunderous, rushing wind galloping through the woods, blowing through her heart.

should have worn the vest

Song:

Blue Foundation – “Eyes on Fire”