Always Leave the Air On

stormy-winter-landscapeIt’s like those mornings you wake up feeling bare as midwinter. Everything smells like cold and there’s nothing to make you think of warmth. Your toes freeze even through those fleece socks, your nose shines cranberry red and the hairs on your arms stand like soldiers in the hallway. Don’t crack the front door, only fragments of last night’s storm will tumble in and quietly melt into the welcome mat. The twisting branches will remind you of his arms and you’ll feel guilty for not having the strength to shovel the invisible driveway. Keep away from the living room; the couch cushions are taut like a doctor’s office, not sunken from another long night of wine and airy conversation. There are still crumbs from a morning danish on the kitchen table. You lick a finger and pluck each one up, bringing them to your lips, pausing, wiping them on your pajama pants. That coffee ring is his, you know it. You stare but you don’t scrub it from the counter. You leave the left side of the bed slightly un-tucked. That pillowcase has not been washed, that single ornery thread still snakes out from a tiny corner. Don’t open the pantry, his red umbrella will jump out like child’s play. Crank the air conditioner in December. Kill off the last of his cologne scent in the bathroom. Still don’t wash the pillowcase. He always liked the warmth. Cook supper for one with herbs from the garden he planted you. Leave the air on when you’re gone. Wear an extra pair of socks at night. Leave the front door open, let the storm come in. Start a fire in the garden. Hang lights on the bare trees. Sleep on the couch and wash the pillowcase. Leave the thread. Put a lock on the pantry and buy a dozen danishes for breakfast. Leave the air on. Always leave the air on.

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11 Comments

Filed under Writing

11 responses to “Always Leave the Air On

  1. Sometimes you leave me with nothing to say…beautiful

  2. A scene from an art flick…

  3. As bleak as those upcoming gray february days.
    Not looking forward to those. Great job setting a mood!

  4. Your style is so unique, and communicates so much. Awesome.

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