I daydream of then, when I was with you.
I would like to return to our fine romance. I would like to return to the past. I would like to return to our cabin in the woods in the foothills where I first rested into your heart.
When, in the evening the woodpecker knocks and asks me my age, I say “Halfway to death; Halfway to birth.” And it nods its head again and again.
But I can not continue to daydream, for I have living to do and the stream pauses for no one.
So I would like to take our dream fort down, and I would like to take the dead flowers from the dry ball jars and crush them and drop them into the young rose bushes below.
I would like to make another orange fire when it is dark—after I hammock and read until it is too dark to read and the mosquitoes will not let me read. I would like to drink rich scotch from a good friend. Red dog curls up close to the fire, and snores. He naps eighteen hours a day!
And so I returned to my Tall House on the Long Hill above my Small City, and so I would like to stay in this sad present instead of living in a pleasant dream. I would like to float forward along with this life: for genuine sadness may be bitter, at times, but genuine sadness is living and cheerful.
And so I put away those things that remind me of me loving you. I would like to wrap and tie our love into a bundle, and set it gently into the farmers’ stream above my house so that our memories may float until they sink, free again as they were when we breathed life into our future: sweating, smiling, sighing.
I have taken my pen to white paper and scrawled black ink into the words of our red laughter: I take the winds of Nature’s winds and invite them to carry my voice. And so I have written this story, and set it all out without saying anything extra. I have let our precious past go into the stream. I have written this story out so that it will forget me.
I had never been much good at crying. I went years without crying. Now, a few times a year, I almost cry, which almost feels good. Once a year, I cry and cry: it feels good. Last week, I cried some, but I still feel that sadness behind my eyes, like a reservoir pressing up against a dam.
When I remember you I am sad, I am not angry. I happily loved you, a little, and you loved me, a little, and we made love, a little, and we laughed, a lot, and we argued only a few times and made up quickly: except for the last time.
You said it was all too much too fast, one too many times, and I hopped off our rollercoaster.
I am ready for one who enjoys the ride, and breathes—laughs!—through her fear at the giddiness of it.
Your naked self below me your arrival in the park your blue dress and khaki corduroy hat with orange letters: it was a meeting for the books, we write it down or else you are forgotten and what was between us fades.
And so I offer up this thin book: visible tracings of an invisible experience. At the end, after our lives have joined our loves and dissipated into the sky above, all that is left are knick knacks: precious things of no value, curiosities of momentous momentary moments to be put into cardboard boxes by someone who knows no meaning. The boxes daisychained into someone’s SUV and hastily donated.
We will be gone: if it all dies away, does love matter?
For that is for the end of the Future. All that matters now is to live while the moment lasts, and to hop into the next moment.
“To ease the pain of living: everything else: drunken dumbshow.” ~ Allen Ginsberg
I would like to see Future’s face, but she is silhouetted against the sun, the blindingly bright ocean of the Future at her back. I can only see her figure, not her expression. Her figure is elegant, and I appreciate her dress.
I would like to see her open eyes, I would like to see her proud nose, I would like to touch her hair, I would like to hear her voice, I would like to take her long hand.
But most of all I would like to be alone, for now, for the Winter is about to come, and it is not yet time for the Future.
I would like to know if I already know her name. Perhaps I do?
I already know her last name.
I would like to see her capable hands holding our love.
I would like to hear her laugh, her laughter is awkward, it is the kind of laugh that is not self-conscious. I would even like to hear her smile in her sleep, a quiet smile.
Red dog will be in the corner, he will be old now, and he will snore more, and when he does we think it is sweet and funny.
I would like to stretch you out below and be stretched out above, and we can turn and toss, and bend and jump, and ride and stand, and bend and laugh, and pray.
I would like to look into your eyes without thinking anything.
“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast, or a god.” ~ Aristotle
I would like to celebrate life with someone—but I would like to be alone, too: alone is the earth beneath the roots beneath the flower beneath the rain and sunshine.
I would like to love, but I have lost many dear friends and shallow friends and I would like to take the time to fully appreciate my own raw red heart and I think that this is enough. But it may not be, but it had better be or I shall turn bitter, and that would be understandable. For human society is a cold thing when we forget our lonely hearts. I am tired of serving those who would destroy their own nest.
And here, Winter is coming in now—I can see it rising over the mountains, falling down at our Big Town. And I will close in, with Red dog. I will close the doors, and I will shut the windows, and I will turn off the water and bring some wood in. I would like to use my kindling axe.
I would like to plan a party in my home: friends and families will come and stand in woolen socks on my red rugs and sit on my old-fashioned wingback armchairs and three children will sit tightly together in my little rickety antique settee, holding some dear friend’s newest baby. And five of us will venture out to the park above and the now dry farmers’ ditch and gather snow and bring it back and we would like to pour maple syrup on the snow and serve it up. And someone would like to make hot tea, and we would like to sing or toast or talk loudly, and later a few of us will tromp along wet snowy roads with Red dog talking about forgettable things.
It is white Winter.
In the Future, I will return to our cabin with you, and though I do not like sunglasses I will wear them as we snowshoe through naked stark dark trees.
My strong legs are shaky with hunger—I am defeated today, yet still I can win.
My hunger makes me focused, dangerous. It is cold, so I wear the union suit beneath the striped sweater and the hat and the jeans and the too-heavy boots with linings and the tweed jacket and the coat with its high collar over the bottoms of my ears. A warm Winter is about breathing through many layers.
Now, I am blinded by the white Winter, but when it leaves and the fog comes and the rain comes and when it leaves and the leaves come, budding light green, then perhaps I will meet my match, and you will meet yours, and we will be alone, together, and we will become dear to one another, and fearless servants devoted to the commonwealth.
I would like that.