At Records End
They sat close on the floor by the fireplace beneath their mother’s quilt, sharing a mug of lukewarm tea and listening to Nick Drake while they talked about her death. Hers was a position of unequivocal resignation to the unknown inevitable. Everyone does it eventually, she said, so why worry? His was a tightening knot of ambiguous foreboding, the heavy, palpable finitude that weighed down his brow as he stared into the cresting flames. He squeezed her hand tightly and looked away from the smoldering fire as the music stopped, leaving only the skipping static hissing from the record player.