I think about moving south, away from the mountains, but the chinook winds blow me back every time. I want to run away, pretend I’m alive, but this morning, I know its too late for all that.
There’s a knock. I open the door wondering if I’m letting in the living or the dead. A girl, maybe twelve-years-old, holds out a paper lunch bag clutched in her tiny fist. Here, it’s for your trip, she says. I check inside the bag. Apples cut up neat and a sandwich. Tuna fish, she says, holding up her other hand, fingers spread out then clasping mine.
There’s no question I’ll go wherever she leads. She knows it too. I don’t bother closing the door behind us, just walk hand in hand into the cold, cold morning. Tuna fish is my favorite, I say. She nods like she knew it all along. If you look up, watch the clouds, it helps, she says, makes it easier to let go of this place. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
There’s no reason not to believe her, so I look up and let her tug me along. The branches wave me on, their bone-white fingers pointing to the heavens and all things timeless. The blue, I’m lost in it. Never did get to eat that sandwich. But there are worse things. Plenty worse.