Thirty Degrees

He likes to be alone when he’s angry. He likes to stew in it and draw this mental venn diagram of all the things he knows to be right and all the ways I’ve fucked up and all the ways that he has compromised. He wants me to “give him a minute”—like we’ve got that kind of luxury in this tiny midtown apartment— and I’m trying to find out how to walk around him without invading his space. He forces me out of his space when he feels I’ve lost the right to be there, so I give him what he needs and I grab my keys and leave.

The winter is like a slap in the face, my cheeks pink and my eyes water and I don’t have anywhere to go. I pull my coat shut and head west toward—I don’t know. Somewhere else, somewhere warm. Somewhere farther than last time, so he can nurse what I’ve broken and I can remember what it’s like to have the capability of keeping things whole. Even now, I know it’s only an hour or so that I’ve got to kill before he starts to thaw to the idea of me again. I know I can go home long before I do. My cheeks pink up and my eyes water. God, what have I done to him that he should burn himself into soot to keep me out of the cold?

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