The clouds stayed low over the mountains, shaking free snow once in a while, and the hikes through dead brush and frozen creeks sent my imagination weaving. We found a single red rose lying on a log in the middle of a claustraphobic forest on Valentine's Day, and it was so perfect that it turned it cheap, and we laughed with the nervous scorn reserved for the sacred.
I got us lost driving back. Fog had descended over the entire province, thick white walls that wafted and moved slightly; tangible. We stopped in a graveyard in the middle of the prairie and hoarfrost coated every thing and gave us goosebumps.
My friend, Mel, was enthusiastic at first: "Look, it's so pretty! What an adventure!". Which gave way to: "It's like a dream..." and then the drippy sad music started and it was: "It aaaall loooooks the saaaaaaame." And then silence as my muscles stayed tense and my eyes strained open, trying to see the road ahead.
Once I was counting telephone poles, trying to focus, and I swerved off the road onto the grass and Mel screamed. I jerked the wheel, sending us back onto asphalt, and then lost control of car. We stopped before we hit anything- not that there was anything to hit, just the edge of the prairie. We looked at each other and started laughing hysterically, then I got out of the car and breathed in the clouds, quelling my nausea. Then I got back in and we started driving again.
We drove too far North through my city, and the out-skirts were dirty and insane, like Athens. We got home eventually though, exhausted of sitting still and of each other. But I accomplished my goal of layering new memories on top of old, and like stratigraphy I can sift through the layers at will with much less pain and focus the farther down they go.