The Death of Heat

Love died on a Sunday in the small concrete pad outside her new place, some cheapskate house across from the university gridlocked in the college scene of the town. Something about the off-yellow siding and her violet drapes told me, in their own gypsy fortune-teller way, that the end was near, left wafting like black smoke out the side of a boxcar, but I, like all the great failures in history, treated the omens as child’s play and considered myself the hungry superior of the divine. Hubris was my sin. Retribution was soon to follow.

As I placed my two bottles upon her floor, one red, one rosé, I noticed that her eyes, those river-eyes that gleamed and washed so brilliantly along the rocky shores, those crags that she surrounded herself with, twin novas bursting in the black of space into the depths of my soul, where only eyes and hearts could decrypt her longing message, yes, those eyes were signaling a civilization long dead and hoping that my ancient, musty spirit could be conjured with the artifacts she had restored. Nothing about her perverse ritual dance should have excited me, and even the taste of dreariness upon her lips was intoxicating to my hollow soul seeking substance. Breathing, the smell of summer sauntering from her crazed floorboards, I found my own way out as I told her, without words, that I would never leave unless asked.

Two prayerful palms found their way onto the message she sent, leading me to believe that all our encounters were simply mistakes, that her perfect smile and too-crazy laugh were just the antidotes to anecdotes and nothing we were feeling was real. A simple gesture of the hand was enough to convince her, more powerful than a stroke of lightning tangling itself upon the rods of fortune, fairness, and fertility. I stood with my bouquet in the warm summer rain and promised to her, or maybe just to myself, that nothing in all the damn wide galaxy of ghosts and souls would ever compare to a breezy walk through the oaks with her, staring at the men in vests and their besotted others, nor the noisy breaks into civilization and cramped cafes that demanded caffeine to bear, nor a quiet bottle of Merlot shared under the dim orange glow of a beat-up midnight lamp.

Even heat must die. So life goes.