In autumn (or fall, as we sometimes called it) we wore woolen sweaters, checkered corduroy, held hands tightly, snuggled for warmth against brisk north winds;

We went apple-picking, fell down laughing on yellowed orange leaves, talked of favorite authors, of Franny and Zooey and our own lost childhoods, of deepest dreams tucked beneath dark library nights.

When Sam Cooke came on the radio we twisted the night away.

You told me that your mother slept once without your fat neighbor. I said: at least you have a fat neighbor.

We drank bourbon to keep us warm, went for weekends to friends’ country homes, played Scrabble through the night (you always beat me, though, at least in this remembering).

In winter we became quieter, lived alone; I surprised you with a snowball or two, but we let the old black-and-white movies keep us warm. You knit me a scarf and I smelt you a horseshoe. We had a deal: you wouldn’t leave until the last snowflake had thawed.

Spring came: we danced slow Tennessee Waltzes beneath enormous Pink Moons, drunk off Mint Juleps.

In summer we lived in the oppressive tenements, watching children bathe in unscrewed hydrants. One weekend we drove north to Woodstock, to Big Pink, to the cottage, listening to Van the Man in my broken-down Volvo. The flower children were disappeared but we didn’t mind. When summer nights fell hard we didn’t know how to end it all, so we split up, agreeing that a poetic remembering might serve us best.

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