Jason gave me passion.

Early 20s. Stocky redhead with pale freckles to match. Blue eyes and eyelashes invisibly pale. Thin, pursed lips. Very farm boy/all-American wrestler type.

He wears cowboy boots and speaks with a soft drawl born of the gravel roads and cornfields of the Iowa countryside. He is older than I am and lives alone in an attic apartment and has been arrested once, or perhaps twice. We start outrageous arguments outside the dive bars where my fake ID is accepted without comment. Our fights carry loudly through the summer nights and end inevitably with heated, passionate sex in which all is forgotten and forgiven.

I love him through the humid summer days and, as the nights grow longer and the leaves turn brown, I leave in search of something cool and calm.