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Even the trees are strangers

tree branches

“I feel like time is a ball of yarn that I’ve dropped unspooling beneath my feet. Every time I try to pick it up it comes undone more and more.”

“What?” she says, but her tone implies no desire to hear more

We’ve crawled and scrambled up here year after year, knuckles bloodied on the rock face. Sometimes you’ve just got to be sure that what you buried stays buried, that the ground stays tightly packed and that forgotten things remain forgotten. I don’t recognize her anymore though. The cold silver tone in the whites of her eyes, the nothing behind that face. Consequences.

Not that I’ve faired better. I wonder what she sees when she looks at me. I wonder if she can see all the pieces of me that I’ve let wash down my bathroom drain. Bits of me cut with things sharper and sharper until I was finally someone else.

One hand on the rock face with sky above. I feel that if I let go now I might find myself falling upwards towards that endless blue void. I clench my hand on the sharp rock and pull heaving myself up.

The summit. The ground is firm beneath our feet, a comfort if a small one. She kicks at the ground, you’ve got be certain.

“Were you there when I…” Her voice trails off.

“What” I say back and I find my tone nearly matches hers

“Never mind.” She says

A gust of wind rushes past.

Even the trees here are strangers.