image by hugh lippe via hobo magazine
It was in September of her twenty-forth year that January set out on an acquisition. The gains of her journey were immaterial, nothing like the pockets of gold protagonists before her had sought after. The precedence by which she judged everything else hung like a heavy smoke for minutes, only to camouflage itself into our lungs and feet. She coughed this up in the shower, and tickled it with her toes at the end of his bed. She marked her life with routine. She charted the sporadic within the mundane, creating great loops and tunnels through which her daily thoughts weaved. In her twenty-third year, around late November, January woke in the early hours of a Monday to the sound of his woe. This continued into late December, where by the sun’s early dimming she would already lie in anticipation, waiting to describe again the route to her doorstep to his drunken fingers. Some Mondays his phantom cries echoed through her dreams. On one such night, she answered his call, and dreamt of herself falling back to sleep. While she slept, he arrived, and removed her door from it’s hinges. He walked through the dimly lit living room and kitchen (illuminated by the light she left on for him every seventh day in the front room), and with a quick thump to his head on her door frame, entered her bedroom. When she awoke in her dream, he told January that he had taken the hinges off her door, and she saw it leaning against the cinderblock wall. When she awoke in the morning, his vanished figure told her he had never been there, and the door she left unlocked had blown open. The December breeze had frosted the soles of her feet.