sundays

12:00PM Sunday Harman park arena Open skate All ages welcome
Time at the rink felt like a vibrant weekfull of forever Every moment stretched easily into the next and then back around again That seamless ebb and flow of bodies stitched together was tide like It never stopped And it never slowed And it never sped Yet he was always one lap ahead and could suddenly appear beside then disappear I blamed the distance on gravity or crowds or my skates resistance but really that space was intentional Functional Noticeable Culpable We could only be lightly into one moment then gliding off around eddies of afternoon skaters the next It was inevitable It was folding and falling and following all at the same time This pattern was well known He filled years with this type of close up magic All smiles never following never leading always moving An hour on ice gave into numb feet held by warm hands above laces falling crisp and stiff to the floor My eyes on the door he reminds over his shoulder to carry cautiously through the crowds strange but I thought to myself outloud that with my skates upside down and the blades in my palms facing up at me that somehow I was the only one in danger Always in the parking lot I realized these noons always ended to soon My hope already hung on the next weekend somehow made me feel better before the feeling worse started to set in Smoke unrolls around his head and is clipped into clouds as he ducks into the front seat of the car 10 minutes of expectation later through a forgettable grey sky drive landmarked by the empty tannery field the closed up SPCA the abandoned railroad a theme itches my brain but I am too focused on donuts to give it anything other the absent attention Levelling out over a road swell that lifts then compresses my hollow stomach signals a warning Here it comes No surprise This guy always took the short edge of the curb into Lake Vista plaza The soft chew and rim clang reminder that parking lots were safe once you made it past the concrete sentry Though it meant nothing to me in 1983 now I avoid exits and entries altogether Its better sometimes when people wonder when I got here and where did I go Frustration like bald wheels spins as he tries to choose a spot to leave the mazda in There was no painted lines because light snow had white washed the entire black top clean We could have been parked sideways and no one could have proved us wrong Backing up is a dad detail that still I have not mastered to this day and avoid altogether It lights up primal parts of my brain Synapses handshake and make neurons connect I start to relive my draft understanding of the art of escape Witnessing in plain view that prepping for leaving can be mechanical and not tied to threat or even feelings I imagined the many times my mom watched him gather up in the twilighted morning to commute into work I wonder how many times she wakes without even noticing his escape He is across the lot in two strides Cupping his cigarette the protected ash falls into his hand Snow hits his palm before the red hot reminder reached his gaze Its like he conjured this place filled with smells and sounds only found on Sundays Watching him take a sip as soon as it hits the table transfixed me What was coffee Who was this guy A guy who could draw a smoke from one side of his mouth and drop jokes from the other A guy who knows other guys by nods and waves and silent gestures of Sunday solidarity At the shop he is easily into his second mug before the foam had settled on my cocoa As the ice flow of an hour ago drifts away I wonder if he sees himself in me Did his tongue ever sting from cocoa sipped too quickly We ordered donuts His fritter seemed an alien thing An unworkable relation to my honey dip An impossible future for me to enjoy.

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