Starting from the Bottom

She’s on the mountain somewhere, dying in the snow. Last thing she said was brutal, but I hope she’s not dead. I’d feel like I did that.

She said, “I wanted a story to tell my friends. I didn’t want to stay with you.”

She was crouched on the wing, then, outside the exit. She’d unplugged it ‘cause we were arguing. I don’t remember why.

Tim landed us in The Rockies the night before. Low on fuel. The landing wasn’t easy, but he had to. The world below was burning, had been since that bright blue shell came and vanished. The mountains seemed OK right then, but rings of sparks crawled at the bottoms, dragging the fire up.

I said, “Go, then,” and she went. I sipped my rosé. “You’ll come back quick.”

It’s been a week. I’m five days looking.

This fire’s tiny. I need a branch while it can light. The suitcase of cash is half empty, and there’s no wild kindling really—the wood’s wet. I’m sad, though. I don’t want to gather fallen branches. I’ll go back to the jet if I need more cash. There might be calamari, unless Tim finished it. I said he could have some. I’m almost out.

I’ll keep searching the mountain a bit. Then maybe I gotta stock up. If I go back without her, I’ll see my face in Tim’s mirrored shades. He thought we’d have more luck as a pair, but it felt like something I should do. I think I’d see an I Told You So. Not in his eyes. In his shades.

I won’t gather branches yet. I won’t carry dead things back here.

It’s cold, but I grew up cold. It’s not bad. Back in Toronto with mom. Went to school with the rich kids, but we had an upstairs neighbor. It was rough. I’m used to the cold. Tim said there might be bears, though.

I can’t feel the fire. I put my hands over it and blow. I’m still sad. She’s out there. She doesn’t love me, which is weird, but I’ll find her and prove she should. We’re the last real people on Earth. I mean, there’s Tim.

I gotta stop being sad so I can keep this fire awhile. I try my mantra:

I am Drake. The Drake. I make too much money singing when I am supposed to rap. I am good at that. I am Drake.

A jet flies overhead, and the trees around me shake. Snow falls on the fire and drowns it. The jet’s mine. It’s beat up, and there’s smoke. What’s Tim thinking? There’s not enough fuel.

She’s out there on the mountain, maybe dying, hopefully not dead. I’ll find her and make her love me.

Tim’s not even famous.


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