|August 2001 / Volume Two / Issue Two|
It's kind of like when you've been a dark movie theater all day long,
maybe for a movie marathon or something like that, and when you walk outside and the sun hits your eyes. But it's also like when you've gone far too long without having eaten, for a while your stomach groans in protest, but eventually, when you're finally given a chance to eat, you find your stomach has shrunken and you can't finish even a small meal, but no meal has ever tasted better. That's what it was like seeing her for the first time.
I noticed little things. Like the way her eyelids hang heavy over her
eyes so she always seems to be struggling to stay awake. And how
whenever she takes a drag on a cigarette she closes her eyes completely. But whenever she'd look at me it seemed like her eyes could not be more open. And they were never more open than when we kissed. Every other girl I'd known had been afraid to look me in the eyes, maybe the intensity was just too much, or maybe they were just afraid that there was nothing there at all. I noticed all the little things and let the big things pass by like cars on the horizon, fleeting reminders that the world exists even when you choose not to acknowledge it.
I remember thinking when it was all over, as we shared the last cigarette in the last pack on the last night of the weekend, that the taste of that cigarette was the closest I'd ever get to knowing the secret formula of her lips ever again. I remember our hands lingered in the air, the tips of our fingers brushing up against one another, and
though it was nothing, a small thing not worth consideration, I found
myself lost in remembrance of a past that almost did not exist, and probably never should have.
Every day the potential exists that this is the last time you will ever
see a person. I have had my share of those days, days whose execution can never live up to their promise. An old friend over lunch gets a phone call and has to leave before finishing a story I'd heard a
hundred times before. A cousin walks down the aisle, stopping only to smile, before vanishing into the arms of an alcoholic. And you sit beside me, a cipher and a siren, one hand on the door to leave, and the other waiting for mine, palm up, stealing the light of the moon.
In those silent moments that pass between us like strands of gossamer suspended in the wind, I find myself wondering if this is the last call to summon forth words I have not yet felt. If you can grow into a lie does that make it the truth? Instead I simply speak, shattering that perfect moment, that instance of infinity. Wasted words work wonders. Now that our lip's seal signs a sentence, we can not swallow those words I waste. And they hang in the air like stale cigarette smoke, while the past is a pile of butts spilling over the edge of our perceptions.
When I was two I crawled across a table towards a glass half full of
juice. Lips stained with grape juice, thirst quenched, life content, I toddled off the edge, landing on the glass. My wrist was slashed, my
life poured out, and though I may never have known such pain, I have nothing but the scar to remind me. Should I ever cut you, forget, but do not forgive.
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