the coldest I’ve ever been

let me see
the coldest I think I’ve ever been
was when I was sixteen

it was the winter of ‘78
and I’d gone on a date
by mistake

I was sitting on a ferris wheel
next to a girl called Lucille
It wasn’t just the middle of December
it was a contender
for the worst winter
anyone could remember
I didn’t care about weather
I was wearing my light leather bomber
the one with the studded nehru collar
because I thought it made me look tough
even though it wasn’t remotely warm enough
and didn’t have any pockets for stuff

I don’t remember what Lucille was wearing
I was ten degrees past caring
and falling
but I do remember her calling
me lots of disparaging names
because she thought I was lame
and the date was too tame
and she should’ve gone to the fair with Wayne
who’d copped off with her best friend Jayne
so she’d been forced to say yes to me
and sat and suffered next to me
cursing the tragic destiny
of a sub zero life with sub zero chemistry

I do remember she had red hair, though
which I tried to imagine was the glow
from a lovely warm fire
as the ferris wheel rose higher and higher
and the blood slowed and froze in my veins
and my legs pistoned in my jeans
and I folded my arms
and gritted my teeth
freezing to death
trying to pretend my breath
was smoke
which only provoked
Lucille even more
and she swore
and narrowed her eyes at the night beyond the door
as we shook and shivered on the hard metal seats
and I tried to look cool like Danny from Grease

2 thoughts on “the coldest I’ve ever been

  1. Ah, youth. If the universe were to ever present me with the opportunity to do it all over again, I’d kick its ass 😜


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