having danced to the blues

At midnight the soul was shut down. After the hypnotic guitars danced us, and the woman’s voice left us burning, a skinny gray haired man took the stage and began to preach over the clapping and calls for an encore, “City ordinance, we must unplug at 12 o’clock, city ordinance we must shut down.” At midnight the lakeside village became a ghost town of street lamp mist and cops lining the curbs. The rain came out of nowhere, in thick silver strands, me holding a flashlight into it, her holding a knife. We walked fast and drenched down the highway, our clothes heavy, our sandals dirty and cutting into our feet. We held onto each other in the dark woods, walking through rivers, the ground opening up and bleeding over our feet. We pulled our tent from the lake, laughing, having danced to the blues. She said, “if it’s still raining in the morning I’m going to slit my wrists,” and put the knife in the pouch above her head. We slept in puddles of water, floating damp and cold, me sleeping peacefully next to her through the storm, our tent a leaking waterbed.

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