the things we have

Appealing to the logic of long since forgotten science classes, they lay on the hardwood floor, hoping the heat would rise above them.  Her back arched far more than his did, enough for him to slip his hand under her back, clammy and dusty.

It came about (and she wasn’t later able to remember how) that they both currently shared the inclination to lock the door and walk away. From all the things they knew they had to pack, from all the things they knew they didn’t need. From all the things they would eventually forget they had and needed, once upon a time.

“But there are those things,” she reminded him, “That you lose, or pack, or misplace, and you think always of them, and wish you had them.”

For her, it was an old Swatch, red, with a white swiss cross on the dial. It had been given to her by somebody who loved her a great deal, and she left it at the house of somebody she didn’t care for at all. He tried to give it back, but to escape the possible embarrassment of another date, she told him to keep it.

For him, it was a collection of Smarties barcodes that you could send away with twenty dollars (which he did) and wait (which he did) to receive something that “clicked and whirled and beeped” (which he never did).

As she lay there in the dark and the cool she thought how interesting it was that he longed for something he never had, and she longed for something she had, but was too embarrassed to claim.

 

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