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  You could have a big dipper   

These things might matter. by Arden Hunter

I didn’t realize that painting clay was that much different to painting canvas. It sucks the glaze into itself, drying matt and confusing in a second. The colours don’t come out of the kiln the same either; this muddy red will become orange, this pale blue a blushing pink. My brain insists I am painting a sunrise, no matter what my eyes are telling me. She likes sunrises. I wonder if she’ll like this, and keep it.

We made a snowman together; spent hours first with gloved then bare hands scraping and rolling the limited snow. We were determined to make the best one on our street, and it had to have personality. She sent me to collect sticks for arms and for a pipe, but it had to be the exact right sticks. I just brought all I could find, so our snowman ended up with a small unlit bonfire to keep him cold at night. We pressed freezing fingers into packed snow, leaving impressions of ourselves there. I thought it would last longer than it did. I wonder if she did, too.

She draws carefully around my left hand so as to capture all the lumps and bumps that make it mine, not hers. I could do my left hand by myself, but the right keeps turning into someone else’s. Once she’s done, she’ll ask me to cut it from the paper so it can join the others: a community of paper hands. Her grip is gentle, holding my impatient palm in place. It’s been a long time since someone held my hand. I wonder if she’ll let me keep it.


Arden Hunter is an aroace agender writer, artist and performer. With an eclectic range of interests from the horrific to the whimsical, the theme tying all of their work together is an inexplicable and unconditional love for the ridiculous beast that is called 'human'. Find them on Twitter @hunterarden and at

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