So, I tell you this. You tell me that. We meet, share a table, smile, laugh, flirt, go to the movies, say good night, share another table, watch the sunset, kiss, have sex, have breakfast, and presto, we have someone who gives a damn for some indeterminate period of time about our existence. Only…PHONO NEEDLE SCREECH!!! It ‘aint that easy.
I am not quite old enough yet to bury the dream of once again feeling a knowing touch on my tum tum, kisses on my boo boo, and the gaze of adoration into my paralyzed eyes.
(Are they really paralyzed eyes? No. not really. You see, when I stare at the computer too long, my eyes become fixed, stop blinking and tear less. This is triggered by a complex group of factors related to horizontal and vertical axis, dot pitch, aspect ratio, and refresh rate.)
There are a lot of reasons why I wouldn’t have to be here in another life. I would already have you sitting next to me sharing some Bordeaux, stroking the glass with your finger tips. We would already have reminisced about the drive through Ontario and our stay in Algonquin, the walks in Paris, the eating in Tuscany, the hikes in the Canyon, the glaciers in Alaska, the walks in Paris, the cobblestones of Seville, the plains in Africa, the dysentery in Calcutta, the bullets in Kabul, and the hysterical snake pit incident in Bangkok. Or, maybe we forgot about all those places and just holed up in a cheap Amsterdam hotel collaborating on a coffee table photo essay book about…coffee shops.
We would already have discovered the evasive secret of smiles and laughter. That to pursue them too vigorously is to chase a shadow. That they come with the least effort. When they want. With whom they want. Not by accident, nor by study, but, by an open door.
We would already have shared the amazement of how much better life is with the Three Stooges, than without them. We would already be laughing about the time I locked you in a trunk accidentally. The time you dosed my soup with hot sauce or, when you woke me at night with a sheet over your head.
Of course we really have a simple life. Not so much to speak of other than…us. We fall asleep on a grassy hill doing nothing but bearing each other’s weight. We do ordinary things, and feel monotony from time to time. But there’s a difference in how we play it. Somehow, we figured it out.
We would already be driving into the sunset, perhaps in an old car, well past an old timing belt. But there we are. On our way to yet another county fair, BBQ, folk town, motel, and plenty of asphalt trance. While listening to music we don’t have to sing along with, and silence we do.
A scrapbook of memories would already be dusty and dog-eared from squished in photos, endless page turning and, more recently because I let it get mixed in with the kindling and a month’s worth of old newspapers. But, that’s okay. Because you forgave me. You stared at me the way you do, and said calmly, “Sweetheart, we have iPhoto.”
I have other scrapbooks. Most are a step away from a lighted match. Not that I am bitter. I keep them stashed in my sister’s attic inside broken cardboard boxes underneath a dusty Persian rug long feasted on by field mice and two mischievous Weimaraners. Once in a great while, I go up there, leaf through them, and say to myself “What the Fuck?!”
I have more to say, but, whatever is left is reserved for that bottle of Bordeaux. By that time, watching you stroke the glass with your fingertips, you will have rendered me speechless anyway.
As an old crack head I once knew said, “Don’t be comin’ round with your stories and promises. I got all I need right here!” Okay, I made that up.