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Black Holes and Dreams

There is a black hole, which constitutes the very core of my soul
It takes and takes: it takes my joy; it causes me to implode upon myself in grief for time lost
Time, alas, is a one way street, always moving farther away
Meanwhile, there is a boy
He turned 12 last month
How big he must be, now; like me he has always been much bigger than kids his age
The kid is flat out smart
Riding over the Arthur Ravnel Bridge 7 years ago—yes, he was all of 5—he noted that I was in a different car
“Didn’t you have a different car last time?”
I affirmed his surmise.
“What was it called?”
“It was an Infinity JQ10, boyo. Why?” I replied
“Where is it,” he asked?
“Well, the thing broke down. It was time for something else.”
“Broke down?”
Looking in the rear view mirror at Ethan in his child’s seat
It was clear that he was deep in thought, absolutely puzzled
After a pause, he replied, “They didn’t name the car very well, did they?”
A shock, stay on the bridge, Rusty.
“Ethan, do you know what infinity means?”
“Sure,” he replied, as if he studied theoretical physics, “it means forever and ever.”
Few times have I ever been so stunned.
That was our time, our joy, my joy and my life, that for which I would give my life
This then is the time of the black hole, the time of such density of pain that there is not passage of time
I am, for now, eternally heart broken

Yet, I dream of the day when I can cast that grief giving hole into the ocean, Ethan by my side
I dream of us on Folly Beach, after lunch at the Sweet Water Café
The waitresses flirt, but mostly to catch a look at E
We laugh and order in our funny voices in this dream
I dream of the things we always did, primarily play baseball in some form somewhere
He’s got that “it” for the game: he is so absolutely my son
I dream that he does what I didn’t do and take the free ride around the college bases
Were we good enough to go to the majors? Is he? Would he like to do that?
The answer is likely, “Are you kidding me, Dad?”

I dream, however, of the time prior to full adulthood
I want some time with my son, goddamn it, with my boy
With his easy affection, and his joire de vive, before he knows any better
In my dream, he does not; he knows only love, the truly infinite and unfailing love that I have for him
Of course, he will still have that prideful smile when he blocks the ball that I hit at him from scooting through the hole in short
He’ll still have that, “Whoa!” reaction, when I hit the ball he has pitched me out of the 15 and under fence and onto the infield of the nest diamond
Then again, perhaps it will be I who stands in awe of the towering shot he drives to left-center
I will dream it that way; I do so

But I awaken, and immediately that black hole begins to claim whatever well-being I brought into consciousness with me
It sucks up all the baseballs, the bats; it is certainly where my good wooden bat rests, at this moment
It draws the corners of my mouth down
As I remember that time only ever gets ahead of you
There is no going back
I have missed 3 years, nearly, of my boy’s best
How many more must I endure? How is he enduring it?
One thing is certain: he adores me

If you, yes you, with the green slime of hatred and foul breath of your snack of poison snakes to feed your hatred, do anything to cause him to feel otherwise
Pray to Zeus and all the immortals, for as my pain is a black hole,
My hatred is a death star, so befuckingware; you cannot buy your way out of this
All I want is my son and to forget you exist
For once Ethan and I am reunited, you cease to exist for me
You no longer matter anymore than the bug I killed by accident on the sidewalk
Thus, the black hole is filled, in its precise shape of ETHAN, as you are turned to a pillar of salt
Now, my dreams blossom with joy, with time forward, with existence annulled by the utter indifference I can afford towards you
Of course, that’s why you hate me to begin with, right?
You cannot stand the fact that I would not fight
That I did exactly what I told you I would
You did what you needed to do
I told you to vacate the house the next weekend, so that I could move out in peace
Pitiful thing with a soul for nothing but mendacity and petty misdemeanors
Know this: on that day, you are wiped from the face of the earth on which I live
On that day, my dream fulfilled, your jealously of Ethan and I will increase exponentially
But all I will feel is the peace of your absence and the joy of my love for Ethan and his for me
That is my dream and the filling of my black hole with infinite love, which has a gravity all its own


Black Holes and Dreams

Rusty Gentry

Joined November 2007

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