weather is the icebreaker and while listening to their exchanges i have a flashback of laying on my back beneath my grandmothers coffee table or what i’d come to think of affectionately as my fort of solace. the top was made of faux aquamarine marble with lines of gold strewn throughout. there were three wooden legs, each capped in fake gold. the table didn’t match anything. in fact nothing in her house was coordinated except her, but it felt safe and loving just the same.

summer temperatures were always in the hundreds and for all the years i lived in that town, the heat and i never became friends. from my position her 1980s swamp cooler delivered a fine mist of lukewarm water directly on my face and that was where i chose to spend most summers, losing track of time and daydreaming about becoming a missionary when i graduated from high school.

eventually the temperature cooled and i stopped hiding beneath the coffee table for hours and days. daydreams shifted as they tend to do but i followed them all from then to now and learned that most everyone’s pain comes from not choosing love. it’s difficult to choose what one doesn’t recognize.

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