Prose

Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow

You can watch it rotate. You her me. You her she. She her me. You. What no one notices is drizzle is heavy. So slow, unrepentant. Umbrellas are useless. Hoods pointless. So you stand, rain mac open. The up-gust of moisture pulls down your ringlets, licks and sticks them to your forehead. The carousel: one full rotation. Mirrors. Lights. Red and orange and blue. 

Blue is for today. Twice you attempt to hold her hand. She doesn’t even feel your fingertips. If you ask she says oh, I forgot my gloves. My hands must be numb. She does not blush, so you do not ask. However, she links arms with me, whispers about someone or other, keeps my neck warm. You cannot be jealous of this for, she and me, we are sisters. You win her a balloon. She chooses a whale. Blue.

Orange is for yesterday. I sliced oranges for the wine. Hot and cheap on the hob, the pot’s glowing copper bottom. We over-dosed on nutmeg. What I wanted and you wanted were the same. I sat between you and her on the floor by the cinder splintered logs. Glow. Sheepskin between our toes. She laughed too much, we both noticed. Every time I tried to stand to check the supper she’d pull me back, look straight at you. I felt the ticking seconds seep into my ear canals. I wanted to bang your heads together. 

Red is for tomorrow. She gets paid then and likes to treat us. Hung over, over-heating as we watch the roads freeze smooth. We will only manage the cinema. I will hang back and whine about wanting the aisle seat to stretch my legs out. Childish, but it’ll be what gets the job done. You should put your arm around her, but do you? Brave. To make it back to the cottage will take tight-grip steering. You become nervous, embarrassed even, and I will count the rear-view lights up ahead. She will grate on us. Agitated passenger. Grit lorry from the other direction. Too fast for her. She will laugh too loud and alone. And you’ll remember her on the carousel. Why ride it in the winter? The car: one full rotation. Mirrors. Lights. Blue and orange and red. Blue and orange and red. 

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