We can dance ‘neath the carnival lights

It was finally shirtsleeves weather, under a flawless blue sky. April’s last treacherous cold front had passed by, and spring was truly come to Ohio.

A vendor along Middle Path sold bags, sandals, crunchy jewelry. Hanging on the corner of his tent were blue and black coarse-knit cotton sweaters. The block-lettered laser-printed sign said “Mexican Bajas $25.”

My throat caught. Something heavy sat on my ribs. And for a moment I let myself believe that the solitary cars moving through town were the sound of surf. The gravel under my feet was perhaps sand.

I remembered your smile and laugh, and tried to smile and laugh.

I suppose it’s a cheat, telling you that I was reminded of an in-joke and not telling you what the joke was. But every time I try to work that memory into this one, they both get muddled. So we’ll call this an exercise in micro narrative.

Rest in peace, Melanie.

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