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seasonal ghosts

Our parents were absent without ever leaving. I was six years old and sneaking out of the house every winter night. The ground was frosted. And so was the sky. I wore a coat over my pajamas. I furiously pedalled my Big Wheel up and down the sleepy streets of our neighborhood. My teenage sister was somewhere out there, meeting boys in the woods or in the backseats of parked cars. One time, a band called Throwing Muses played for about 25 people in a haunted house up the street. I crept up to the porch and peeked through a window. The band was set up and playing in the corner of the room. The singer seemed to stare through the other people in the room and focus on me peeking through the window. I had never seen eyes like that. It scared me, and I ran back to my Big Wheel. I don't remember much else about those nights other than me sitting alone on the Big Wheel and watching clouds of my breath form under the streetlights and wondering about the distance and isolation of stars. I knew, even then, my whole life would be like that. And I remember creeping back into my room. You often don't realize how cold you are until you enter a warm room.

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