Rooted, I used to think.

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The Close Dance - Monday, Mar. 30, 2020
The Children - Friday, Mar. 27, 2020
Lockdown - Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020
Social Distancing - Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020
Love in the Time of Cholera - Monday, Mar. 16, 2020

Friday, Mar. 13, 2020 @ 11:15 pm
My Love

There is a pause in conversation. Peter lifts a piece of sashimi into his mouth.

“So why did you message me, nine months later, to ask me to go for a run?” My heart races. I asked the question yet can’t look him in the eye. I busy myself with mixing wasabi into soy sauce, feigning casual indifference.

“Because I wanted to go for a run with you,” he says simply and with a shy sideways smile. It’s not the whole truth. I know there is more, but that is as far as I am going with this; I can read between the lines.

I cycled across the city in the dark to meet him. Too late for a weeknight, but I was feeling reckless and lonely.

We order food and talk and eat until we are kicked out of the restaurant at ten o’clock. Then we walk down towards the seawall, towards his condo and my bike route home. I settle back into spending time with him. The infinite conversation, the banter, the gentle debate. I am reminded of why I liked him; I did not make a mistake in falling into his kiss that night in the rain on Granville Street.

We stand on a street corner in front of the park beside his apartment, me leaning against my bike. A cold wind gusting around us. I can see the bench where I nervously accepted his invitation up into his apartment, his bedroom. We talk and shiver and pull our hoods over our heads. I become colder and colder, but I don’t want to leave. I would rather be cold than alone.

He doesn’t ask me up to his apartment. I told him a month ago that a physical relationship was not possible, and he does not question or push me. But he moves closer to me, imperceptible shifts, until our arms are just barely against each other.

There are moments of me laughing so hard that I’m bent over, holding onto my bicycle. His dating stories. There are moments where he is silent, carefully listening as I tell him something hesitant and vulnerable. He studies me. Wind blows my hair around my face. I feel beautiful.

I glance at my phone. It’s late. We’ve been standing here in the cold for an hour.

“I should go,” I say quickly.

“Yeah,” he agrees. He pulls me into a tight hug.

I put my arms around him and lay my head on his shoulder. He is still at first, and then his hands tenderly rub my back. I feel his chest rise and fall with his breath. The embrace is distinctly long.

We break apart. He turns quickly and walks away into the night.


The next night I am in Calgary in a hotel room. Russell is in Tucson in a hotel room.

I see his face through my phone. My heart explodes to see his eyes, his smile. He rests a hand behind his head, and I can see the smooth muscle of his arm, the soft skin of his chest.

We talk for a while, and then we just look at each other. A bit shy. A lot smiley.

We both need to get home; it’s irresponsible to continue to travel. All of the uncertainty, all of the fear, but in seeing his face it all seems easier. At least we have each other.

We hang up, and I roll over into bed to sleep. Pull the duvet up around me. Snow swirls around outside. I am ten stories up in a glassy hotel tower. The temperature drops to minus thirty.


My phone vibrates.

It’s Russell.

Goodnight, my love.

Roots | Shoots