by D.C. Logan
The street is wet and cold. An early morning driver moves past my line of sight with a blur of lights and a faint schussing noise of radial tires on pavement. All the street lamps are still lit, though one flickers uneasily among its neighbors. I step closer to the glass to broaden my view, not that I'm looking for anything except a moment's distraction while my mind settles from its earlier swirls.
A draft of cooler air across the floor makes me clench my toes. I need to replace the weather stripping again, but I don't shift from my post. My breath fogs the cold glass, and I watch it distort my neighbor's car into odd shapes. Curious now, and past the vague ennui of my night, I shape my lips and tongue and exhale, sculpting a new reality outside my door with condensation on the glass. I close my eyes and inhale deeply, then release in a long slow breath along the glass. I open my eyes to haloed lights, and chuckle softly with the realization that I've done this all of my life, but not recently enough to flatten the childlike joy of it.
"What's so funny?"
His voice is soft, and follows me to the window.
"Just looking outside. Couldn't sleep." I don't turn from the view. Another car is approaching from the west and I squint my eyes in anticipation.
There's a subtle ruffle of fabric, and a press and complaint of the mattress that tells me he's shifted to the side of the bed. I sense him watching me from a wary distance, not quite understanding what holds me to the glass. The car passes in an angry hiss and bright lights. The rain is past, but the pavement is still a darker surface. Reflective. Dangerous.
I feel more than hear the shift of feet on carpet, and he pauses, then moves to encircle me from behind, slowly moving his bed-warned hands around my chest and under the edges of my robe. His fingers lie still, and I resist the urge to turn to him. He rests the partial weight of his head on my shoulder, his chin digs a nearly painful point in the muscle, and shares my view.
I blow on the glass again. Teasing.
He shifts and watches the nimbus of soft light expand and then sharpen like a lens. And I do it again.
I feel him draw in a breath, and for a moment I fear he will say something and break this odd, reflective mood, but he reaches a little beyond me, tilting me slightly forward, and adds his breath to mine on the cold window. The halo expands and contracts again, so like watching the glass breathing. He takes another breath as I hold mine, waiting, and then I feel a current of warm air caress the side of my neck as he turns and burrows deeper with his face.
My lungs fail me, and I chuckle helplessly, caught in the moment. He hugs me tighter, adding a tickle along my ribs in the process, and draws me back to the bed.
I slide back under the covers and wait for him to settle before moving alongside him--more alert than I should be, too sleepy to stay awake. Eventually, I drift back into my restless dreams.