It was hard to figure out how the trapdoor and folding ladder worked, but you said it was worth it, because the attic was the only place in the old house we could be sure we were alone.
All sorts reposed above the house where you grew up. There was a record player with a Bob Dylan album leaning one it, and a metal set of jacks you could have sold to an antique shop. My eye fell on a brown haired doll, which you still referred to as “she.”
Of course there was a typewriter in the attic—it would have been incredibly bizarre if there hadn’t been one. We tried to start a novel together, taking turns typing a word. But there was only one sheet of paper, so we could only write the incipit of our potential Bildungsroman.
There was precious little light. Your attic had no windows. We each brought a flashlight, and you had the presence of mind to drag up an extension cord and a desk lamp. The desk lamp’s bulb was burned out, but we plugged in your old Lite-Brite and it worked. You shut the trapdoor and we made a Lite-Brite pattern together. Behind us, rainbow hues danced on the slanted walls.
I found a box of your Nancy Drew books and we read to each other by the light of our masterpiece. (I was trying to make a heart with our initials, but you insisted on something more abstract.) Rain fell on the roof. It got colder, and you dragged a dusty Navajo blanket over us.
The rain grew louder, and the attic became frigid. So we opened the trapdoor and shivered our way into the guest bedroom. I buried myself among blankets. You climbed in beside me, smirking, and pulled off my shirt. We made love carefully, treating each other as we would treat fragile, expensive things we were afraid of breaking.
I always get hungry after sex, which amuses you to no end. All we could find in the cupboards was a box of stale Chicken-in-a-biscuit crackers. As I rummaged around the drawers, you walked out to the living room.
I found you staring at the picture window, hands in your pockets. Wordlessly, I put my arms around you. Raindrops raced each other down the pane of glass, and I wondered—were we young adults or old children?