Seventy Percent Denial, Thirty Percent Milk and Sugar

Had he been raised with a certain dismissiveness, much like his Scandinavian friends, he probably wouldn’t have felt so affected. Winter. That’s when it happened, without exception, always. He should have come to expect it by now. But he somehow never managed to prepare for it properly. Frigid mornings. Come up, sun! Early darkness. Now, where’ve you gone? As with everything else, his issues revolved around the sun. Though, he wasn’t one to beg. So he rejected the sun, as it had him. His curtains remained closed at all hours. They keep out the cold, he told concerned friends. Only when the sun dared come out, did he meet it. And he only ventured outdoors when absolutely necessary. But, why then was he outside, now, in the cold, walking to the corner shop? Not for what you think. If there was one thing he learned, alcohol—no, not that, he required something more substantial, more sophisticated: dark chocolate. Nothing less than seventy percent. Biting into that precious bar, it was a chorus in the mouth, choral oral music. Spring wears a foil-wrapped disguise!—a mouthful, indeed. Each bite richer than the last. The chocolate transported him to a chandeliered ballroom full of others looking to waltz away the winter. Parquet floors, dripping diamonds, white ball gowns, and whispered criticisms. He didn’t even need to close his eyes to see it. It seemed impossible, like winter’s end. A modern match girl, chocolate bar in hand, he left his beige curtains and hissing radiators behind. Never stopping to count the number of bites left until reality dragged him to his desk.

Arthur Thompson

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