Dear DJ,

Remember when we cracked through the ice and fell through the creek? It wasn't a big deal, the water didn't even make it up to our knees, but goddamn was it cold.

We ran to my house, slowing when we saw my mom talking to a cop in the driveway. Her arms were crossed against the cold and her rouge sweater swallowed her greedily. Before we saw the broken window in the front of my house, the one my mom's drunk ex-husband threw a rock through, we were told to go inside.

We went through the side door, taking our shoes off before we entered, not wanting to get yelled at for trackin' snow inside. Our socks, still wet from the creek, had to come off too. We peeled them off from the tips, stretching the socks three times their size, watching as they reluctantly let go of our ankles, feet, big toes, then little toes—leaving them outside as a science experiment.

After we threw our pants in the dryer, my mom called me into the kitchen. Standing in our boxer shorts and unzipped winter coats, my mom looked at me and said, "DJ's gotta leave," as if you weren't there. I looked at you and said, "I think you gotta leave..."

We went back downstairs and you put your pants on, still wet, then I followed you as you went to get your shoes by the side door. Even though it'd only been a few minutes, our socks had frozen into boomerang-shaped icicles. I picked mine up and playfully hit you in the shoulder with it. It was solid. You picked yours up and did the same to me. We laughed, trading blows.


I ignored my mom's voice coming from inside the house, and we hit each other a few more times. It was surprising how solid the sock felt in my hand, yet gooey, like a flat, frozen eel.

"Matthew, do not make me call you again."

We stopped hitting each other.

"I'll see ya later," I said, and you left.

I went into the other room and my mom explained about the window as if her marrying a drunk after my dad had left was somehow my fault. I just looked down at my feet the whole time, thinking of sticky, frozen eels and cracking ice.

My toes were numb and purple, almost red.

- MJ


Fwd: >