Sunday, 3 January 2010

(I will try harder this year)

This is the prompt: "Write about eating with your hands"

We walked up the mountain. It was fun most of the way to the top, then we hit the white peak of snow and hidden ice. Even our thick-soled boots slipped. At first we were able to make jokes of it, but after a few minutes we could manage nothing more than to keep our legs beneath us. The snow had melted and refrozen into slick rivers that we worked our way over by clinging to sharp protruding rocks and each others' red, numb fingers.
The sun was still high in the blue sky and we could feel the sun in the air, but even that was somehow chilled and painful to our wind-chapped cheeks.
At the top there was a little turret of soldered girders with a plaque beneath it. We didnt read the sign, but used its low wall as a break from the wind. We sat and shivered in clothes soaked with cooling sweat, we wished for thermoses and hip-flasks, but only had icy bottled water to pass from hand to hand.
Out of your bag you pulled small parcels of brown waxed paper which we struggled to unwrap. Inside were sandwiches - your surprise, overshadowed by the difficult climb. I bit into the cheap, white, supermarket bread and felt the sweetness of the jam inside cut through my teeth.
I couldn't feel my fingers, but I could hold my sandwich well enough in their loose grip. You offered an apple to me and a weak smile to go with it. I shook my head at the thought of cold sticky juice trickling down my chin and licking ice across my face.
We took our time gathering our things back up once we were done - we were always careful to leave places as we had found them, I had even seen you once take away the litter left by other people at a pretty spot we had visited that Summer.
Then we headed back down the mountain, making careful links with our arms when our cold hands could find no place to cling to.
At the bottom, you kissed me unexpectedly. I tasted the sugary fruit of the jam sandwiches freshly on your tongue.
We returned to the car and sat inside it for a few minutes with the engine on so that your hands could warm a little before you drove us home.