I knew sand lived with snow as the hardest ground to run on. I knew the bottle of wine we shared as the sun set might slow you down. I watched you press yourself upon the sand and when you returned with a lit cigarette I wanted my CPR training to come into effect. I wanted to trade oxygen for pollutants. I wanted to trade your exhaustion, and the torch you kept-for love and relief, for the deepest most fulfilling of breaths.
Instead we traded stories.
You told me about your third day in cooking school, when you accidentally tore open a two pound bag of cinnamon that exploded into your face. The coughs and fits lit up your painted powdered face as you found the floor fast, wheezing like a newborn.
You said, I felt as I have never felt before.
I told you, in exchange, once when I was welding I forgot to lower my mask and the white hot sparks skinned my face. I didn’t stop as soon as I should have. I left my mask up, I left it up because it felt like I was a comet or an astroid entering an atmosphere. It felt like I was crashing into something.
Then we traded the cigarette back and forth and we thought about who we were.