I wake up and I don't know what surprises me more- the clock or the calendar. It is now October, which means that summer is over. That makes two. Two summers without you and can feel time putting dust over my bruises. It is lessening my pain, but I resist it. I am annoyed that the time is passing and creating the distance between where I am and where we were. Then .
The beachhouse. The drive-in movies. The Escort from hell. (Windows fogged and handles that would not roll down). Greasy onion rings that you held on eight fingers- Go ahead, count!"

But it fades, like the ten minutes I just put on snooze- it does not pause, like my forgetful VCR. It is the opposite of that- it races ahead- ahead of me, and my memories and how I want things to be, how I want them to stay.

More time, another 6 minutes spent in bed staring at red numerals, clicking away another morning I should be working, or studying or giving the appearance of life. I am going to have a hard time, I guess, explaining this next year- where this time went, how to account for the absence of life- this absence of things . I don't know what I have been doing with myself, other than waiting for the memory of you to slide away and get lost with the time I have been shredding. We lose weeks like buttons, like pencils. We have more than enough, until someone calls and we search frantically to take a message-

It was right here!

We have more than enough, until we have none and then we have nothing. All gone.

Bill hands me a envelope and I am confused. Payday, already? I'm no martyr, I need the money, the envelope goes in my safest pocket. Another two weeks have zoomed by like something with its own sinister engine, something that does not ask me if it can truck on past.

On the phone we try to figure the last time we saw each other. I come up with Thursday. Anna has more of a head for time and she proves, by what movie was on tv that night, that it was last month. The baby is nine weeks old, she says. Come see her. Please. I am gripped by the terror that when I do go, Toccoa will be sitting up, talking, married.

How do I get rid of the twinges of probably having missed the last perfect picnic day of 2000. How did I get past missing the (one) snow day without taking any pictures of it. That still bugs me. Was January, seems like last week. This goes on and on, faster.

This summer has been volatile, kaleidoscopic, an onion. I don't know what happened when, or when it started, or how we got here. The rush of time used to terrify me constantly. Now it only terrifies me most of the time. Still, I have moments - we have moments, I can say - where we can sit back, lie back, on bed or grass or each other, try to figure out what happened when, and fail, and go silent, happy in a confusion of shared time, even if it's rocketing, even when it scares us. We keep each other in the same moment. We keep each other. Everything will change. It is our job to keep our hands strong in each other's grip.

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