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No importa que her lips are starting to snow all over me when she speaks, she wants to say something, pero ni modo, el tiempo nos escapo, and we turn back to the snow falling from our fingertips.  This is the moment when the thing starts to turn, the bull that lives in the center begins to turn in his sleep, and the entire puzzle becomes rattled.  It's never easier when it's rattled, and it's never more difficult, the puzzle is always exactly what it is.

She tells me about how she likes to spend time looking at her fingertips, and wondering about how this impossible puzzle has solutions, simple solutions that are only difficult because they take time to play out.  We can twist the pieces all we like, but we have to wait and watch how they play out, and, she says, neither of us is born for that kind of waiting, and so we keep twisting and twisting them.  Her greatest fear, then, and it should be mine, is that we may occasionally fall upon the perfect solution, but we twist again before it has a chance to work itself out, and that we might be always missing it.

"Why don't you make a move, then, and let the pieces fall for awhile, make a single simple move and let them lay where they lay?" is what I say, and it sounds like someone else talking through my mouth.  My lips don't snow, but her face is starting to be covered by flakes.  There's something about the weather between us that's agreeable, even though it's a little cold, and there's a threat that if we stayed too long we would die, forgetting to come back inside.

I'm starting to wonder why it always has to be like this for me, something threatened, something dark and looming, and if I could become some dark erotic angel for a time, without laughing myself to death, I would put on that mask and let it work itself out until it went away or until it molded to my face because it always fit perfectly.  When she puts on masks I had always assumed it was just something particular to an age, that this is what we all do for awhile, but the longer I know her, the more I can see it's something particular to our age.  As if we were born in a time when a stable identity was the first thing on our minds, but the last thing we want, because we've seen what happens to the ones who find masks that fit too early in their lives, and by the time they are ready to move in a new direction, they are already old, and looking terrified because they can't remember how to get out of the image they embraced.

So this proposal, then, to make some kind of movement that might suggest a decision, is already too much, and I know exactly why, but it still puts me somewhere that I don't understand.  It's as if it's all on her now, as if she might have the key to get us out of this, to find the trick that made everything turn, when things started to go wrong.  It's as if she were a kind of a last hope, and if she took the chance, she could unleash all of this, and I was already angry with her for not being brave enough.  And it was worse because I understood that what was happening to her was what always happened to me, and I never found the way to make the secrets fall into place. 

We live under a microscope, and everything we do is being observed, and we've taught ourselves how to use these tools against our observers.  It gives us a keen double consciousness, something in us that splits off to observe our being observed, and on some days it makes us powerful, and on some days it just makes us crazy.

So I try to turn the rivers of time back just a bit, back to where all I could think of was the time when her lips were snowing, it's not far away, but it's already too far, and I miss it, miss it terribly, because in the time that I was thinking, she was talking, and I didn't hear a word, and now she's angry with me.

"You always get like this," she says.

"Remember that time we were that couple that never got heavy with the weight of snow on our backs?" I say.

"We've never been a couple," she says.  "We don't do those things."

She's right, of course, but I still say, "If we're not a couple, then we are we always spending so much time together?"

Tonight no one is wrong, and everything is snow, and the only unexpected thing that might happen would be sleeping. 


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