Hands in ingenious pockets

I gave you my favorite thing from Chinatown, pressed it drunkenly into your hand. We were in my kitchen that first night. BEAUTIFUL GAUZE MASK, the package said.

The next morning, I went over to the philosopher’s apartment. “Oh no, what have you done?” I said. He made me breakfast and told me about his date. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” she’d asked him. “How about ten? How about fifteen?” By the time he walked her home, they were thirty years in. I told him it sounded like a duck and a bear going on a date. The philosopher considered this. “More like a duck and a martini,” he said.

You called me. I called you. Come over, come over, we said.

I learned you were fearless about the weather. You wanted to walk around the city, come rain come snow come sleet, recording things. I bought a warmer coat with many ingenious pockets. You put your hands in all of them.

Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation, Knopf, January 2014

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