I pull my hat down so the tips of my ears are tucked inside.
My brother used to tease me about this but I ignored him because I was always afraid something bad would happen if I left them untucked–when I was a kid, at least. My fingers find their way to the cold metal zipper hanging from the front of my leather jacket. I remember winters when I would press my tongue to its surface and the metal would stick and tear when I pulled it off. My brother said there was something wrong with me for doing it. So I stopped using my tongue–in public, at least.
It’s weird the little things we feel the need to control.
Things like keeping the bad stuff at bay by tapping the front door three times before you enter or exit. Or wearing your lucky red sweater to an interview cause if you don’t the elevator might break on your way up or the building might catch fire while you’re up there. Or both. But I know that isn’t really what keeps the bad away; my fingertips aren’t magic and that red sweater won’t keep this world from devouring me–that’s what I’ve learned from you, at least.
My brother pulled me aside at a family dinner a while ago.
He asked me to get help; to talk to someone and I agreed–I didn’t tell him about you, of course. I said I would do some research and ‘keep him posted’ on my progress. People like him need to hear things like that in order to feel as though their ‘little things’ are also under control. So, I did what I said and I kept him updated on the series of lies you and I crafted to keep him from our truth–not that he would ever understand it.
People like him can’t understand reality.
It’s just not in their blood and that’s okay–at least, that’s what you keep telling me. I turn the neck of my sweater inside out because we’re getting close. I do it in a way that looks like I am just absentmindedly playing with my clothes–like ordinary people do. This is what you’ve taught me is my greatest chance at survival; at winning this game–which I am really starting to enjoy. Like you said I would.
Being ahead of the curve is for special people, you said.
Being ahead of the rest of them. The ordinary people who would never understand that there is a reason to tuck the tips of your ears into your hat and that the color red is a way for us to recognize one another. That touching the door three times is our way of staying connected even when we can’t see each other and that zippers are our portals and when we’re ready… When we’re ready to be together, that’s when we flip our collars and when no one is looking, press our tongues to the zippers cold, metallic surface.
I step closer to the edge, like you told me.
I look down because I know this will be the last time I define it as such–at least, this is how you described it. I know I am alone, I made sure of it like you asked me to. The wind picks up and it’s cold as it should be. I close my eyes and take a step closer as I open my mouth. I bring the zipper all the way up and allow my tongue to connect with it’s surface. I take one last step and smile, because I know it’s just a matter of time before I finally get to meet you.