A Silly Gift

Outside the club, on the street again, just before first light, the cold air chilled me through, made me realize I’d soaked my shirt down to the hem.  The fabric looked pressed and ironed it hung so straight and wet.  The narrowest, wavering, salt-white line was visible near the bottom of my shirt, thinned by whole bottles of water that had poured through my skin.

“Aren’t you cold?” Sailor asked.

“I kind of like it,” I said, “Coming out of there, and all that smoke.  I like to feel the cold air on my body.”

I felt skinny, like a heart and some bones walking.

It happens, after hours in a club, a refreshed exhaustion, a feeling of thinness.

Sailor smiled.  Her eyes sparkled, and said something about bravado and a lack of common sense really being the same thing, which was a form of endearment, a silly gift which she could do without, but which charmed her nonetheless.  I almost caught both of her eyes, but she cast a glance to her girlfriend who was now walking beside us, who had stuck by til the end, who stayed with us to see how this would turn out.

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