First. I said it first, I said it last too, before hanging up the phone and sticking my head out the window to feel the cold air.

The wind shattered into the room, making sweeping noises and rustling the curtains and scaring the dog. I wasn’t sorry, I’m never sorry, and maybe that’s the problem.

The lights from the street float up and the snow looks like it’s falling backwards and I blow so I can see my breath and make sure it’s still working. Is there anything quieter than the middle of the night? The middle of the night in the middle of the city where things are still loud but a certain hush falls over everything right before dawn comes up.

The magic hour. I close my notebook and stare at the ceiling, the air touching my cheeks and the tips of my fingers and making my toes cold. Everything in this tiny place somehow feels wrong, suffocating and large and overbearing but instead of fixing it I hope it will swallow me up and spit me back out as something new.

Quiet fades when the morning comes, quiet hours become loud and bustling and heavy, and I watch from the window and wonder if today is anyone else’s first.

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