You and me, we coexist. Can I describe for you the life you have not lived? Buttons where there were zippers, snow where there was rain, silence where there were people. The television set. But we have so much in common. That’s so very nice I could squeeze you like a teddy bear, then fall back asleep. If I see you in the park and study you like a painting, if I read you like a magazine, in joyful discovery, may I fall in love with the complexity of you. Between two points you travel, on lunch break, switching lines on your cell phone, waiting in line at the café, removing your glove so your device can recognize you, swiping screens to get to the mapping application and plot out your next move. I will embody your background the best that I can. I make for pleasant scenery, they say. I understand how it is to be so busy in the life. I am honored in your presence. Not to have time to peel an orange, or a sunset. One day this careless wandering of mine may end, too.
This morning I found myself splashed across the walls like water. This morning I woke from a nightmare being hunted by a man with a shotgun. Before dawn I am docile and careless, the sheets you tore up and me within them, before you left for your job and an eighteen wheeler and ten thousand gallons of oil. If only I can gather my self and my focus, today, the cell phone my natural enemy flat-backed on the dresser. This morning I shower and untangle my hair. I wanna good cut, I wanna change, I wanna punk it out with a streak of black and some sharpened angular curled tight at the nape of my neck in the back. The necklace my friend gave me several years ago, the silver icon hangs just below the the new one on the thinner chain, the hanging dove I got to remember my own ancient history. The light comes up blue in the city around me, loyalty and new love arises in me and I don’t know how to handle it. How can I fall in love again without fear? I cannot withstand another fall from great heights. A burgeoning skepticism clings to the edges, the water mark, and won’t wash away down the drain. I wanna live is all i know anymore… i wanna live or there’s nothing left.
Maybe in 2016 we can put our Beats headphones on and drown out the world. Maybe someone will hit us over the head and we will fall in a snow bank. Maybe we will wake up and have a whole different take on life, seeing remarkable visions and offering to pump gas for people at filling stations. Maybe we will fall in love with the first person we see, and ignore all the subsequent restraining orders. Maybe we will get confused and our cell phone won’t be able to get us out of it. Maybe our confusion will lead us home, in a roundabout way, and we will recall 2015 like it was a long, long time ago. Maybe we will have our records expunged and our CDs sponged, and become honorary members of our households. Maybe we will get edged out by all the millenials, and feel special on the margins; a wide open space about to get marked up. That’s where we get to go and write all our notes, anyway. And when anyone looks back, they will only care about us, they won’t even bother with the mainstream. In twenty seventeen.
My heart feels gummy like vitamins, flexible like you could push on it with the heel of your hand and it would bounce back so you knew i was still young to the faint drip of baseball through the radio in October, the Royals were unbelievably good again and I had been having a lot of contact. I guess I am still young. But I don’t see much of children anymore. I think they are a different kind of young, up to ten, still dreaming of the past lives while flying through the air, pendulums on swings. You could push on them with the heel of your hand and they would bounce back. God forbid they might fall from great heights, they would walk away unharmed, all cartilage, saved by being unformed. Not believing in death yet, wondering about the new life. Which adult was gonna boss them around next. That sorta thing… Kansas City was like a waystation back when the most important thing in the world was the goddam railroad and all those guys like Leland Stanford who got rich by it. Even my family lived there, generations ago, and they say fifty or sixty years ago it was what Vegas is now. Maybe I know too much. I go blank in the eyes when I remember ten years old, the pendulum, swinging, believing I was immortal. Really sorry to see the adults go, why cannot they live forever, too? Whose gonna boss me around then? I’m not gonna do my chores. I’m just gonna keep kicking my legs up and out to the sky. Why would I stop? I’m not on any clock, my heart is full of vitamins and I have been having a lot of contact. You can push me around. I won’t fall and even when I do, it won’t hurt. You can’t hurt me unless I let you. Come, let’s fall in love. We can live and love and last forever.
You know you’re falling in love when the stars come off his Chucks and lodge into your eyes, or when the sun is not as bright as its reflection off her skin, or when you hang up the phone and you get that sinking feeling, or when you listen for his voice inside your head, or when trying to figure out the different colors in her eyes, or when…