They came dressed as Batman, and you were a giant corn dog. The dance floor was someone’s bedroom, the attic where people smoked up. They knew all the song lyrics, and you watched them mouth them before stroking their black plastic chest piece and
trying for a kiss.
On your first date you climbed an aging tree in the forest beside your house. The second you learned to box step. You talked about E.B. White and palm reading and at night got naked in your bed made from foam core doors. They were so hot. You were so sexy, they said.
It began to snow, and you watched videos of deep-sea creatures both translucent and otherworldly. It made you happy. You made miso soup and drank Bulleit. You asked if they loved winter best, but they only pulled back yellow bed-sheet curtains and stared out the fogged-up pane.
They moved away a month later, but you kept in touch, even visited. They had a cabin beside a river with a fire you kept feeding, exhausted. Your sex now involved scissors and hot peppers. You couldn’t get enough. You wanted them to be like you. You thought you might be them, too, until spring came and you couldn’t stop crying, realizing you had always been alone and they would never be.

Sarah Viren is a translator and prose writer living in West Texas. Her work has appeared in The Normal School, Diagram, Colorado Review, The New Inquiry, and others. The Pinch journal awarded her its 2014 Creative Nonfiction Prize. Read more of her work at