and everything became clear once more. the sky, the sun, the moon, the desert. all became lucid as the day after a hard rain. i sat on the bench near the park, tossing bread scraps to passing geese, and lifted myself above the mountains, beyond the trees and the woods and the passing birds, high above the clouds that sat, single-file, in the azure, as if nothing held them from becoming one with the hovering space above. i kept climbing, beyond the stars, the coal-colored midnight, past the shooting suns and the motionless mountains of the brightest planets. i came upon the peak of olympus mons and stopped cold in the tracks i’d created. black, black, comets too cold. their tails, they whip and dissolve. and the shining divides, they cast side to side, forfeit patterns of beauty and flair.i stood there, steady and collected, wondering how i’d transcended what i’d believed to be all that was. volcanoes erupted and pyramids rose from the red rock ground all at once. stifle that conscience, bearer of ill-will, make the case for silence. egotism will outshine the sun in the fiercest of battles. cynical cynic. master of minds and mirrors. you have not the slightest idea of what you discuss. farcical. idealistic/idolatry/infidel. a terrible speaker and the children know it, and smell it, seeps off of you like warm sap. technicoloristic and unable to hide it/disguise it. and your rhythm is far-off.
“Imagine going back and watching a tape of your life. You could see yourself change, and make mistakes, and grow up. You could watch yourself fall in love, watch yourself become a husband, become a father. You guys gave that to me, and that’s an amazing gift.”
In the months that passed, ten months to be exact, I waited and I was. I played at normalcy, talking with friends and talking with strangers. I slept and ate and drank and worked. I counted minutes of days that passed with a terrible slowness. I wrote letters. I wrote to ghosts, ghosts of a time when all was well – when all made sense. I did this often and without a thought, drifting and longing and looking for something – anything – just to make sense. I spun fiction from words that had no rightly purpose being called ‘fiction’. I spun fiction from the past, covering names and hiding love in the wide open spaces between words of loss and words of regret and words of hope and the things that once were, in the thoughts of others, in the words of another. Stories of nights under stars and in the forest and stories of drives to no place in particular, remembering what it was to feel your hair drape across the edges of my face or to walk in hand, barefoot, across a cold beach. What was it that I could recall, and what, even more criminal, was it that I couldn’t?
And now it is ten months later and you’re showing up on a day in June when the weather is cool and the sun is high, you’re showing up from someplace unfamiliar, someplace foreign. I’m buckling at the knees, wobbling under the weight of the ‘once was’. I am being unmade at the sight of you. But you are not speaking or saying or anything the like and I’m wondering if this is something fashioned from a longing or from a dream, something unreal. I do not know. There is only the silence and the space of time, the space between where I am and where you are and the history that begat this moment, all the things that we wished were or could have been, but there are no words, just the months that have gone and the curiosity of what happens next.