He had woken up in the middle of the night, again. Feeling peculiar, the rush of returning from his dream to consciousness struck him like it had every other time he woke up. Dragging himself to the edge of his bed he turned on the pale bedside lamp which revealed a room inanimate save himself and his new kitten, lying there peacefully in one corner of the bed. There was no one beside him, tonight. A pang from the realization made him feel lonely.
But maybe that’s how life is sometimes.
He sat up and grabbed the remote, flicked through memories of his past…a better time…somewhere far off…
Man he was really something, back then. A few days fresh from defending his thesis he was called by a man asking if he knew of any housing available for Democrats in the area.
“Actually, I’m looking for housing so let me know if you find anything.” He said, while chuckling.
He asked about the man calling, and soon had planned an interview for a political canvassing gig for that campaign season.
They had been in his car, and while he was on the phone had signaled Diane to go inside without him. Once hanging up, he walked inside and felt that old familiar warmth one gets when returning home, not just a place one loves but filled with the one they love.
She had a soft demeanor, in some ways, so full of life, yet not abrasive…welcoming, free of anxiety. They had come from two different worlds. He was a tourist, but was learning to fit in to this new place.
Love is powerful. It seems to transcend categorization of “good” or “bad” and instead reaches upward and repeats only “life” in a soft whisper that you hear when things are as quiet as the moon in the sky, as sleep, as far off heartbeats.
There was a sweetness to her laugh that made the wind cease so that nature could hear it herself, hear one of its own creations, an obvious magnum opus to those lucky enough to witness it. He had felt nice when he could make her laugh. That laugh echoed through time and space to his bedside.
“I don’t know what to say,” his better judgment told him, “that one really dosed me up good.”
All those nights together, to find themselves once again in different worlds. That may just be the way of the world.
You get it good and you want it to stick around. Are you grateful for the good times while they’re good? That comes down to a choice.
He thought of all those nights after the breakup…drinks and hitchhikers at 2am…loud music and cigarettes…acceptance and happiness in being single…
And at the very end of all of it, love came back like a pendulum, a love violent and loud, covered in paint, staining skin and shower curtains. But just like that pendulum it tracked its inevitable course away from him.
He has his eyes open but he does not see in front of them, but rather just behind them.
He whispers her name, softly at first, and repeats it in a slow cadence, lays his head back down onto his pillow, and waits for the tides of sleep to wash up onto his mattress and carry him downstream.
image from here