Snow Away-A Braided Essay


I am checking my phone in the car passenger seat while Paul grants and revokes driver’s licenses.

“He gets a license. She does not,” he says.  

I want to ask him if I would retain my license, but I already know the answer and it rhymes with snow, which blankets our world, plunging me into a deep abyss of despair.

“I’m flashing my lights. That means go! Go-Go!” Paul shouts at a hesitant driver.

A memory comes to mind, of a persistent go-go boy dancing on top of a bar in Key West. He leans down and asks us if we would like to go play together in the back room. 

“No, thanks,” I mutter and we both offer him a dollar bill to make him go away. I stuff it into the top of his briefs and Paul stuffs it from the bottom, our finger tips meet in the middle, like Lady and the Tramp coming face to face at the end of a long noodle. A year into our relationship, we find this to be utterly adorable in a way that only new couples could.

“Adorable,” Paul uses that word all the time now. When I wake up in the morning, my eyes puffy, hair looking like Cruella de Vil on crack, Paul will ask me “How’d you get to be so adorable?” I’ll silently think to myself that A) he is blind; B) he is much too perky in the morning and C), what was C going to be? I can’t remember now, but God how I miss swimming in the sea.

There are only a few weeks of the year that we can comfortably swim in the ocean in Maine, but I could sit forever on the sandy beach in the evening when the sky blushes pink and watch the waves roll in. 

Rollin’ with my homies

Who sang that song?  I look at my phone to check iTunes.  It was Coolio. That’s it. 

Mary-Ellen used to always say that, as if to say “Cool,” but said “Coolio,” instead. Or did she used to say “Cool Beans?” I can’t remember now, but over the holidays we met and shared stories. She has not changed one bit.  It’s funny to think that we kissed one night in high school after a “White Russian” drink party I hosted when my mother was conveniently away.  Both of us drunk and thinking what the hell, we’ll give it a try and then both of us feeling like we just kissed our sibling. 

I’m not certain what to think about the Russian Olympics.  We have stopped buying Russian vodka although I can’t say this has swayed Putin into changing his horrific anti-gay laws in the least.  I often wonder why any sane gay person would want to live in such a frozen place anyway.  Move to someplace warm I say, like Key West. 

Paul looks over at me and I can tell by the way he says it that I have missed it the first time he asked. 

“I said what are you thinking about?” he asks.

“Nothing,” I reply.

“It must be awfully empty in that head,” He says.

I look out the car window at the piles of snow, turning black from the gritty dirt and stained yellow from dogs marking their territory. 

“I guess I was just thinking about how much I fucking hate snow.”


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