Christmas Lights

One summer night in Texas, I walked towards a dimly lit house slightly tilted with the foundations almost breaking, everything was slightly, though almost imperceptibly shifted in space. As I approached the steps, there was not a sound in the environment, just the warm glow of Christmas lights. Texas summers are almost relentlessly hot, making almost a surreal sensation as it courses through your body. The band was late. I was trying out for a bass position. I knocked on the door and waited. This was before cell phones so there was no way to call anyone. I just stood at the door and. waited.

Then I heard something, footsteps, moving in the darkness, and I saw her. Almost elven, her bright, untrusting eyes greeted me with a forced detachment. “Hey, I’m Mitch, no one is here, do you have a key?” “Hi, I’m Rachel,” she said. “I think Chris and Foley are still working, we’ll have to go find them.” We walked to her car, the pavement cracks still visible in the evening sun, or more likely still, an almost invisible moon. There was no rain. We were in love. It took a couple of weeks until we really admitted it to each other. But there, in the awkward silences, we knew.

We built our lives around each other, made music, travelled the world, moving across the country, we grew together over the course of the earliest part of the 21st century. Until the lines almost became blurred. Where do we start and where do we end, it doesn’t matter. Everything is like that first night, we just know, that there was something indefinable that binds us. I remember and look to the right past the window in our apartment in the forest. There, a string of Christmas lights rests gently over four paintings. I remember. One is of her.

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