There it was again. Another dusk. Gabriel was tired of beauty and miracles. He would drive by the marsh each day as the sky faded, a long nine-to-five behind him and the belt and button of his tight slacks undone for the ride home. Clouds would bloom and sway like dancers at a Renoir patio party. And Gabriel would remember the way he moved and laughed with the girls during summer nights, their hair bouncing around their shoulders and their eyes and smiles bright with affection for his silly way, his careless moves and spins, his big laughter and crooked grin. It was painful to think about now, so many years later, but the sky wanted to remind him. So Gabriel kept his eyes straight and would count to twelve as the marsh flitted by behind highway guardrail supports. With each number he’d tell himself not to look, that the mirror of day’s end was a glimpse at pasts better left behind. But he failed more often than not, the violet hour wilting too beatifully to be ignored. And those times, those kisses at the end of evenings and tight embraces and rushed breaths and whispered affections would echo through his chest as if he were a cavern shouted into by better yesterdays. Gabriel wanted the beauty of this season to end, the gawker’s paradise to collapse into Winter when the sun would set before he left work and his commute would be shrouded in the dark of his present. Just get to twelve, he’d tell himself. This will all be over soon.
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