The night I met you I took you for a drive in my battered old car. We drove to the harbour and parked up, sat there for half an hour with the radio on, turned down low, watching the snow coming down, slowly, curling in the breeze before softly falling to the ground. It was cold even with the heat right up, with both of us breathing heavily, conscious of every inhalation, the way it is when you’re nervous. The words I was saying were coming out all wonky and strange. My question marks sounded like fade-outs; it was not the effect I was going for. I wasn’t playing with language, I was just getting it wrong.
I had forgotten everything.
We talked about a few things, like where we had been to university and what brought us to Copenhagen, further north than the places either of us were born in. You’d been here for five years, and knew everyone and everything, and I wondered if I’d stay that long. You asked me what I liked most about living here. I like the wide roads, I said, and the cold, and the dogs riding around in bicycle carts. You said you like the feeling of riding your bike in the freezing winter, you said it makes you feel alive, being so cold. And when you get home afterwards your hands tingle and it kind of hurts, but warmth never feels better than after coldness, and then you sleep really well. And you are home
Safe in the car, snow outside, there was an element of danger, but only tiny, and not that dangerous, more exciting than dangerous, standing guard on the windshield, inconspicuous as a snowflake.
On the drive back I felt as though I was made of ice, ice carved into the shape of a person, and now I was slowly melting, not disappearing, but becoming part of something else; becoming part of the sea.
You can read more of Sarah’s work at Autumn-Almost.