The Late Shift

I think it’s eleven thirty when I walk through our door. The long crack down the middle keeps it cold inside. We’ve talked about taping over it. I know you’re still awake because your light is on and you shout a staccato ‘hey’ when you hear me come in. I mimic you in reply and duck into my room to change into track pants and a hoodie.

You’re sitting at your desk and when you swivel your chair my way we both laugh because we’re identical. For some reason it’s still funny when we dress the same even though we shop together. ‘Smoke?’ you ask.

I grab a cushion from the lounge and throw it down next to the window. When I open it the wind blows through so I yell for you to get a blanket. We refrain from speaking when you come in so as not to exhaust the conversation early. The two of us sit on our cushions on the floor and pull the big blue blanket over us. It’s grotty but warm. Kind of like us, I think.

You pull our tobacco out of a tin you bought from somewhere on Smith Street and I wish I had as much free time. You should put it to better use.

While you prepare a cigarette you tell me about your day. About what you had for breakfast, that you were late for class, and about ‘apple guy’ and ‘wrist phobia girl’. You’re making so many friends we have to nickname them for me. You pass me the tobacco when you’re done and wait for me to roll before lighting up. I’ve already smoked a lot tonight but it always feels better with you.

For Yun.