Finding Company in the Snow

I was wearing Converse, so my strides weren’t as long, lest I slip. It was late enough into the night that a new inch of soft, slow snow had fallen since I’d last been outside. We walked side by side, at least I pretended we did.

I don’t know where my anonymous friend was coming from. As for me, a few unproductive hours in an empty classroom had sent me carefully trotting home with a heavy heart. I had taken the route through the parking lot. Not many people do. They usually take the over-salted sidewalk on the other side of the dorm lineup. So it was just she and I. She must have been coming from a building located more West than most, like me. I guess I assumed she was a girl based on the size of her shoes.

We had crossed paths at the sidewalk outside the kindergarten. When I’d tried to match her footsteps, step in each one exactly — that’s when I realized she had a much larger gait than I was comfortable with. She’s probably much taller, or she was wearing more appropriately grippy shoes. She had moved from the left side of the road to the right sooner than I would have.

Nonetheless, I followed, now beside her. I imagined her physical body moving through this space to my left. I found comfort in the certainty of the entire spans of her movement through the path she had left in the snow.

I imagined someone later finding our footsteps side by side and unconsciously concluding that we were in fact, in time, and of course in space, walking together.