Thursday, December 13, 2012

Harlan & Lexi

Seen at the Fullerton station waiting for the Red Line to 95th at about 8:30 a.m.

She said I’d be cold, but I didn’t listen.

“Look, Lex. I’m a big burly guy. No cold’s gonna get through this beard. No cold’s gonna get through this belly.” I put my hands on my stomach and jiggled it for dramatic effect.

“Actually,” she said in her teacher-voice, “women are much more naturally capable of surviving the cold than men are. We have more body fat. That’s why mostly women survived the Donner Party.”

“Are you saying that today we’re going to face weather conditions comparable to the harrowing conditions faced by the Donner Party? Am I going to have to eat you?”

“No, of course not. I think it’s supposed to be a high of—”

“Lex, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be fine.”

I regret that declaration now. This hoodie isn’t enough to keep out the December chill, and it’s not even as cold as it usually is this time of year. But there’s no going back; Lexi will never let me live it down if I admit she was right.

When I was little, my dad was always warm. Not just warm—he was a man-furnace, radiating heat no matter the weather. He was almost constantly sweating, much to the chagrin of my mother, and he never wore a coat. When I had nightmares, I’d crawl into bed with my parents. My dad would wrap his big arms around me and the shivering would instantly stop. He got cancer when I was in high school, and I knew he was dying because his skin felt cool and clammy. His fire was burning out.

Lexi slips her arm through mine and cuddles close. She probably knows I’m cold. She’s too damn perceptive. I wish I’d inherited my dad’s heat. I wish I could wrap my arms around Lexi and warm her up, but my shivers would give me away.

Went to trivia last night. Did pretty well. We are masters of the pop-punk genre. In other news, how is it not Friday yet?

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