At the end of a day, we turn off fluorescent lights, leaving office work on respective desks. Between us—the width of Pennsylvania. You fly west, and I scurry east. A woman named Lillie has prepared a bed in the middle.
You hold an elegant gift bag emblazoned with blue and gold geometrics. Inside, there are pages from Science magazine crumpled and balled. Makeshift tissue paper, you say. The mouth of a wine glass is wedged with quarks and constellations.
I have slept with you once before this, but it was in a Queen size bed in Pittsburgh and not as floral. But that night I didn’t sleep at all.
On a Saturday, we wine hop in an October countryside, tripping upon an Apple Festival but refraining. We instead climb a gravel driveway to the Hauser Estate Winery, quickly fetching glasses of white and red. You sign a receipt in large, shaky letters resembling an M an E and a K, and we rest our frigid bodies in the metal chairs outside. The chatter of young folks dissipates behind us. My mother loved that kind of pen, you tell me.
That night, I immediately regret telling you I wanted to see the Round Barn of Terror. My face has never been so buried in tweed, scratches on the chin. But then we drink cider and make smores and there is feeling in my toes again. Feeling all over.
It is during the last breakfast of cheese omelets and canister coffee that I consider loving you. Instead, I fixate on a navy damask placemat and wonder how many tiny towns separate me from you.
About B. Rose: B. Rose Huber is a science writer for the University of Pittsburgh. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore, where she published her novella A Bear’s Place. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pear Noir!, The Light Ekphrastic, The New Yinzer, Weave Magazine, and Welter.