I used to lay on my bedroom floor as a child, look up at the ceiling and imagine what it would be like if our house was flipped. I wanted to walk on the ceiling, step over the header to get from my room to the hallway, the stucco crumbling under my toes as I went. When I’d reach the kitchen I’d jump and pull myself up using the lip of the countertop, then scale the inch-wide walkway on my tiptoes in the direction of the fridge. I’d open the door and all of its contents would spill out onto the ceiling save for the carton of chocolate milk that I’d catch with my free hand. As I crawled through the snow and into the shattered window of the upturned truck I had the same feeling, except now it was real. When inside I couldn’t fight the nostalgia–the dream of something so constant, so present, becoming inverted. I turned the truck off, grabbed your coat and boots and met you at our vehicle. You gave me a strange look. It was then I realized I was smiling.
We weren’t moving fast. The truck slogged along, twenty under the speed limit. Curtains of snow undulated on the road ahead, jumping and collapsing like vampires staked in the heart as we’d overtake them. We slowed when we saw the two dots on the shoulder. Two magpies huddled together and watched us as we watched them while we creeped by. I imagined they were pissed they didn’t fly south, that their instincts kept them in this frozen Albertan wasteland. What was even worse was that we were heading south and had more than enough room. Perhaps if they’d known, if they’d just raised a wing or a talon as we passed.