Single Days and Snow Flurries
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It is the late 2010's. I stand in fractured mounds of packed snow, snowsuit I will never wear again hugging my body and keeping what warmth it produces inside. Surrounding me, the dry freeze of a harsh New York winter swirls.

I am young. No older than eighteen. Puberty has not yet finished its work. I feel unformed, drifting shapeless in the gray petri dish that is high school.

Zipping past me, my younger siblings screech with delight as their innertube glides along the snow, kept pure without a foot step by our tireless watch.

The lyme disease that will end up threatening my life has just begun its attack on my various bodily systems, causing a slight ache to my legs as I walk.

In a few years, I will be in a constant state of pain. I am only saved by my own motivation to understand why I am in pain before I die.

Initiation. A trait the me on that hill, shortly acquired by land developers, did not have.

I have it now.

In droves.

My father glides by, grinning stupidly at me. He is years away from his own chronic disease, a cancer of the bone which will cause him pain for the rest of his life.

I smile back, starting up the hill again. Spirochetes run across my entire body.

As I climb, I doubt. I fear. I hate.

What will happen if this?

Who would die if that?

I do not expect to survive the year.

I do. And again. And again. And again.

I climb, snowsuit flit-flitting against itself. In years, these legs go from sticks to trunks.

Years of working hard labor will turn me toned, every part of me muscled. I still gain weight. I lose it too.

Then, I am straight.

Then, in those years, I resented my burgeoning homosexuality. I was ignorant of the real disease, and thought my feelings were one. I thought any attraction to me was repulsive. I called myself scum. Trash. Faggot.

I was dark. Depressed. Foolish.

This year, I went to my first pride parade, ribbons askew my body. It was a source of much anxiety, but as it was over, pure joy. Ecstasy of the highest order; Personal achievement.

It will not be my last.

I reach the top, and turn around. The Hudson, its girth laid out against the backdrop of the Marlboro Mountains. Huge ice floes drift and crash by, their noise audible from so far away. Squinting, I see birds alight on the chunks. They remind me of ships crashing together, spewing water from their collisions. I feel an urge to climb aboard the shifting surface and ride it away from life.

These feelings never leave me. The thoughts.

To disappear. To leave it all. Permanently. To drift below the ice and consign my mind to the darkness I feel so accompanied with.

Maybe they are the forever. The thing that drives this. The exultation I feel to have ignored those feelings, to not have let steel meet my wrist, is palpable in my life now.

I place my tube on the snow, settling down in it. My family gathers behind me. I protest, half smiling as I do so. They push. I fly across the powder.

Time, also, in its way, flies.

The past?

Kicked up in a cloud of powder.

I wave good-bye to it.

Let it waver in the rearview for just a moment longer.

I'll keep the sweet parts on my tongue.

The names I want to remember.

The people who shaped the trapezoid of my existence.

Then, in the snowfall I will learn to miss, I am narrow. Dissolute. Permeable with all manner of issues.

Now? The shape has widened. I am smarter. Kinder. Myself. Queer. All the things I thought I hated.

Time heals many wounds.

The trick is not letting it create more on its way through you.

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