3/12/15 They Drove

They drove through towns on along  the mountain ridges. Gordy took his eyes off the road for an instant to look at rivers that churned and bulged with springtime runoff. Mai slept and woke and slept again, then drank some water and watched the mountain town, the ski resort and everything she had once known and now didn’t recede in the distance.

They came to sweeping fields bordered by mountainous hills. The fields were golden and fences and flowers grew by their sides. Mai rolled down the windows to let the spring air in. For lunch they stopped along the side of the road and few cars passed them as they ate some cheese and crackers from the cooler and drank water. Gordy cut an apple into slices and they shared that too.

“The kids will be wondering,” said Mai from the passenger seat.

“Wondering about what?” asked Gordy.

“Where we’ve gone.”

“Let’s sit in the field,” said Gordy.

He stood and walked around the car and help Mai stand and once she was steady he gathered up the little lunch. Mai held his arm with one hand and her cane with the other and together they walked twenty paces into the field they were parked along before sitting down amid the tall golden grass with much effort. Neither of them could sit cross legged so the both just flopped and lay on their backs, which made it difficult for them to eat, but the way the grass pressed their back, they didn’t mind. It was so alive.

“Brian will be calling and calling,” said Mai.

“Why?”

“Because we aren’t at home like we said we would be.”

“Yep. He will be angry with me,” said Gordy.

“And Elsa.”

“Elsa will understand better, I think,” he said.

“Because she has someone?” asked Mai.

“Yes,” said Gordy finding Mai’s hand and grasping it and feeling her skin that become so loose over her bones that it threatened to melt off her.

“How are we going to get up?” she asked.

“We don’t ever need to,” said Gordy.

This was the first real conversation he’d had with Mai in weeks. He didn’t want it to end. Perhaps it was something about the fresh Canadian air that was sparking her mind back to reality. Gordy raised a piece of apple to his mouth and bit down on it. He handed a piece to Mai. She ate it.

“I don’t think this is the place,” she said. “The butterflies don’t come here.”

And the moment was gone. Gordy felt it flutter away. There she went, talking about those butterflies, but which–her own back at home? Dying in their cage, or ones in her mind that she believe were real but weren’t?

Gordy wasn’t sure why the butterflies were such a stone of reality for her while so much about their time together had been washed away from her mind like water receding from the short to take with it what he pleased. But the butterflies, those would stay with Mai forever.

 

2/28/15: Chance Meeting (Not So Chance)

In the movies the boy always meets the girl in some serendipitous manner. He wins her despite his obvious lack of charm. He is not a good guy in general, or maybe he’s even too nice of a guy, Maybe that’s his problem. He is either too good for her, or too bad for her. Either way his friends and her friends will wonder what they are doing together.

In the movies, unlike real life, they meet in a bar. There is nothing bad about this besides the fact that it is a bar. How many of these true-love movies meet in a bookstore? Park? Beach? Oh, I know, I’ve seen relationships start because of the bar scene. But I’ve never seen them last. One night stands don’t typically set a healthy foundation for relationships. But then, what does?

So the question that matter’s most in this situation is: what is important? Are the late nights and long conversations what make a relationship meaningful? Are the drawn out silences that never seem to be awkward a sign? Is it the flames that dance up and down your body at the others touch? Is it what you both see yourself doing in five years or ten? Is it having someone, anyone else, in your corner when you feel down and out?

Where we came from doesn’t matter, nor does what we’ve done. The man is suppose to be rather cold and aloof. Not in touch with his feelings, emotions, unable to show her how he feels or why he wants her. She is ragtag in so many ways. Unlike in real life ragtag is desirable. Give me a woman who is forging ahead. Moving forward and ready to jump into the water—though it may be filled with sharks—at a moments notices. Someone who’s heart is red and raw and open. Someone who isn’t afraid of what that feels like, but shows you the left ventricle and how it’s been rubbed raw by other men in the past. And then show her yours—the sad scars of yesteryear. The ones that make you a pessimist when dealing with woman. The abrasions that are constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop. Because when it does it’s like a blade from the headsman’s ax. Swift. Decisive. Without remorse and then you are alone again.

Is that what we all wait for? Those of us who play the dating game? Do we wait for that shoe? Do we ever talk about it when something better than the one before comes along. When a hand is over your heart is it easier to push away or draw breath in? When the sun has risen on you both, is it a sense of unexplained trepidation and the want for greasy food and coffee, or is it one that says you should have spoken with her just a little longer before you both fell asleep.

Give me the hand holding and heart beating and the long hard conversations about what matters.

12/7/14

Lets sing together. Lets carve out dreams upon the sand. Lets walk along the beach, leave footprints that will be swallowed by the sea. If your hands are cold you can use my gloves. If your ears are cold you can use my hat. If the tide comes in I’ll carry you home. I’ll carry you back. I’ll make sure your feet don’t get wet.

Lets climb that mountain together. Lets take that first step and then the next. Lets journey into the clouds high above knowing others have been there before, following footsteps. If you slip on a loose rock I will catch you. If your shoulders are sore from the straps of you pack I’ll massage them. If the rain begins to fall I will build us a shelter. I’ll start a fire. I’ll keep it burning through the night.

Lets go running in the dark. Lets carve out swaths of light. Lets howl at the moon, wake all the neighbors on the block. If you lose your voice I’ll be sure to give it back. If you get nervous you can hold my hand. If you can’t see I will guide you. If the dark is too deep I’ll turn it into day. I’ll speed up time. I’ll make sure the sun rises on both our faces.

Lets swim together. Lets dive head first into frigid water. Lets warm it, leave ourselves dripping and cool on the dock. If you shiver you can huddle close. If the sun is too bright you can use my glasses. If the wind picks up wherever it sends you, I’ll go also. If you fall overboard I’ll dive down to find you. I’ll hold my breath. I’ll give you mine. I’ll pull you back to the surface.

As high as we go, as dark as things get, as light as things seem, as low it is, I’ll see you there. I’ll hold your hand. I’ll wrap you up. I’ll set you down. I’ll close my eyes. I’ll cover up. I’ll whisper light. I’ll fall asleep. You’ll fall asleep. We’ll fall asleep. The night will turn to day. The sun will rise. Tomorrow will be another chance–another chance to do all those things–together.