Though it snowed, it looked like fake snow, like film set snow, as I walked across the grocery store parking lot, past the primroses for sale all covered in plastic. I checked out a curry restaurant on a side strip-mall but it didn’t look right, and pretended to be going somewhere else, then turned around to look back in again. Lily was at The School of Rock for Wednesday night band practice. I got there early and afterwards, we’d go out to dinner. I’d been thinking my time with her was getting brief and every little getaway mattered. We wound up going to an Indian place near the Taco Time (bad location) that was warm inside with flat-screens showing the Olympics and high ceilings, good smells, family-run business. We watched the snow swirl in the street lamps and made small talk.
I finally got the strange rash behind my knee checked out, fearing it could be tick-related, from the time in Scotland I drove for three days before noticing it and by then it was like a piece of fruit, attached to my skin. My doctor said it was just dermatitis though (a form of eczema) and pulled up images on his monitor to demonstrate, all the sad cases of people with scabby webbing behind their knees. We got engrossed in the pictures though, and I had to ask him to turn it off.
At the pharmacy I got the cranky Eastern European woman again. It’s hard to tell if she’s cranky or it’s just the accent, but it always puts me on edge. The tube of cream for my knee cost $77 and I asked if there was a generic version and she acted put out, had to call someone over, who said in fact it was, and the price before insurance would have been $170, so I said I’ll take it. It doesn’t expire until 2019 and just use a little bit, she said.
The snow thickened as Lily and I drove up the plateau from Issaquah, back home. She smiled in the glow of her phone at the reactions to the memes she posted for her School of Rock group but I wanted her to look at the snow instead, had to accept for a time it’s no different than what I do, and at least she’s happy.
At night when the clock tolls we all flip over sideways in bed. Come morning I imagine parts of myself have fallen off in dreams, a slow stripping away if you believe we all return to “0.” For Lily, everything is new and exciting. Time fans out in thick bands like taffy while for me, it’s thinning.
When we got home I went down to the den with the last of the white wine and turned out the lights to watch the snow. I caught myself falling asleep though, climbed the steps to bed, closed the blinds to keep the cold out, and what heat we had, in.