Len – Steal My Sunshine
I finished my third cigarette in a row and realized I’d rather risk cancer than go shopping with my girlfriend. It’s not that she took long, it’s that she didn’t take her wallet. I’d say she was lucky to have me outside, a get-away driver in waiting, if she was ever at risk of being caught.
But the angel and demon on her shoulders, everyone else’s conscience, counted employees and eyes in the sky. She’d never take from me and tried to leave other people alone, but companies, mega-stores, she victimized at her discretion.
I blew smoke at a passing mother and daughter because parents with small children shoot dirty looks around regardless. I flicked the butt, then my lighter to spark a new cigarette when a cardboard box, taller than me and almost as wide, came out of the store and sat itself down.
“Why isn’t the car started – I texted you. Let’s go.” My girlfriend said to me from behind the box then sped off with it into the parking lot.
I jogged after her. “Did you just steal a gazebo?”
I had a harder time opening everything than she’d had stealing it. “How the hell’d you walk out with this?” I jammed the metal pole I held into the ground and it fell, same as last time.
She laid on the ground a few feet over; her eyes went from me to the sky, “It’s always just a matter of timing. I guess I’m in tune.”
I stabbed at the ground again, didn’t even break dirt. “Whatever you’re in tune with it isn’t the seasons,” I javelined the pole across our yard then dropped next to her, “Ground’s been frozen for a week.”
Her head wriggled onto my chest as the rest of her body shivered. “I just thought ice-cream under a setting sun sounded nice.”
“Sure. Inside of our house. Near a window.” The ground was colder than her warmth.
“But then we don’t get the elements.” That didn’t sound bad to me, but I kept quiet. “Actually, I have an idea.” She jumped up and ran inside.
I was quick to follow. “Please tell me it’s hot-chocolate instead of ice-cream.”
“Nonono. This’ll be better.” She grabbed the carton of ice-cream from freezer.
She ignored my groan, set the ice-cream on the table then forced me into a chair. “You know how my Mom calls me Sticky Paws?” Pipes rattled as she soaked her hands beneath faucet. “It wasn’t just cause I stole from stores.” After unlidding a jar and sticking her hands inside, she pulled them back out coated in sugar.
“You gave a palm reader diabetes?”
She smirked, then went to where the last vestiges of daylight bled through the window and swept her hands through the beams; the illumination, removed from the air, stuck on her skin like spiderwebs.
Two more passes then she was on my lap, picking stringed sunshine off her palms. With microscopic elegance she rolled photons between her fingers into straws of pure sunlight.
They cut through the ice-cream like rocks do water; we drank the entire carton without getting brain-freeze.
Continue reading My Mixtape – Swimming In The Flood