The next 3 steps, ice and then back to mud. This is the point, standing in the dark in a swimsuit, a towel over my shoulder, a beer in my hand that I decide to look at where I am going.
The whole yard, deck-to-greenhouse, is covered in a thin sheet of January ice. The ice pocketed with foot-sized craters of mud and water.
It looks like a scale model of a bombed out world war II battlefield or the surface of some unknown frozen planet.
I know there is probably a good careful way through. So I take a pause intending to find it. But what pops into my mind is "fuck it" and I keep going.
A few minutes behind me Beach enters the greenhouse with huge ceremony. She too slips into the water taking hold of the stinging heat with a small gasp. It's part of the nightly migration.
For 3 weeks Beach has been stuck on an Elvis Costella song Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. It's my fault. I put it on her i-pod. Around the corners of the house, you hear her coming singing;
I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood
Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Well if you can’t get what you love
You learn to love the things you’ve got
If you can’t be what you want
You learn to be the things you’re not
If you can’t get what you need
You learn to need the things that stop you dreaming
Four days later I will be on the treadmill and the hot tub will catch my eye as I am thinking about finally visiting my sister's grave. My tiredness following a dangerously slippery slope.
I think perhaps on my birthday. I see myself crawling around in the snow trying to find the headstone. Then slipping off into the mountains thick with winter to flight a force I better understand.
I think of all the things I have promised myself about who I would have to be to be able to stand there again. How in the quietest moment of my life I knew going there would never be okay for me if I intend to survive her...
What's left to say when every word's been spoken?
What's left to see when our eyes won't open?
What's left to do when we've lost all hope and
What's left to break when our hearts are broken?
And there I will hear Beach's voice inside my heart.