001: On Precision

“That night–I remember–it was so cold, we didn’t want to touch each other,” she said. “It was blue, cold, a night without constellations.”

He said, “It was a long time ago.”

She took this response to mean: He doesn’t remember the night. She took this to mean: In ten years, he won’t remember me.

“You’re referring to the walk,” she said, “the walk we took, the walk we took through the snow from the station. Was it Rome, Hartford, was it that junction in New Mexico when we got lost later in the mountains and we almost froze?”

He persisted. “It was a long time ago.” He watched her through the candle light. He watched her watching him. He took her persistence to mean: She doesn’t remember the night. What is she, therefore, remembering?”

Both recalled many nights where things went without touch, when his fingers tapped a few times or did nothing but rest on the linens; when she flipped the switch down and all he heard was steady breathing; when he stood at the window, framing himself against the moon’s blue light, which, they say, is the ocean insomniacs fall into.

Neither of them remembered the precise night. Maybe he’d been guessing. But she wondered: would she remember his eyes by this night’s candle light? He wondered: would he remember her eyes, the way this candle flame, like two white icicles, sliced in her eyes?

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