One

You don’t landscape in Albuquerque, you xeroscape. You get dumptrucks full of colored rocks and mix it in with the colored earth and put a fake plant in the middle of it. Then you put a spotlight on the fake plant; that way the truckers can see it in the freeway median when they drive by at night. 

What a great idea. Let’s put this fake plant in the middle of these rocks and put a spotlight on it so that the passersby will take notice of how we can put on the appearance of life in the middle of a desert, and still be dead.

They say hindsight is… 

well, whoever they are, I’m not so sure. There are a lot of things that I might’ve changed, but my vision is still cloudy like winter when I look at myself in the mirror. Those pupils are still black and empty. What kind of a person finds their soul mate in eyes like these? 

An empty person? 

Empty person, I can't fill you up. And I told you that from the beginning. You knew it the minute you slipped your hand into my jacket pocket. Did you think those were the fingers of a person with a soul? 

I called her May. Her real name was Jessie, but she hated it. We sat across from one another over coffee and strawberry crepes and made up names suitable for a princess, and for a knight. She called me Franz, and it didn’t matter what my real name was.

It still doesn’t, really. 

May used to say that she knew certain things were inspired because they inspired her. She talked about love like she believed it was real. She went on and on about it, like it was her best friend, like it was standing next to her, like it was a person that could heal. You nod and smile, you know, because what the hell else are you going to do? And in your head you can’t help but envy this kid because, god, you knew what that was like one time. 

I’m just living life in the winter, she’d say. And you’d nod a smile, you know, because what the hell else are you going to do? “And it’s that first autumn leaf that blooms, you know? That first leaf that let’s you know there are more to come and the snow will melt with time.” And she started to sing, I remember, but different than you’d figure, a little off key but with a maturity that told it’s own story, of age and progress and some sort of understanding beyond what you’d expect for a child. 

It was like it came straight out of the springtime. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that summer would bring beautiful things.