Dialing your number now
I am troubled. An ordinary state for me.
It was one of those scenes that if it appeared in a film or on stage it wouldn’t be believed. Overly designed. Contrived. If not outright smarmy in a suburban post-modern way.
Two rows of box condominiums. Between which ran a driveway. Identical windows above identical two-car garages. Each facing each across the chasm of the drive. Cloudless pale blue above.
I stood in the center of that drive. On the concrete running dead down its center. Concrete stunningly white, unstained. Perhaps it was the artificial blackness of the sealant applied to the drive that made the concrete so blindingly white. Sealant applied with such craft I could not detect even one splotch on the central gutter nor even on any margin of the garage slabs. Perfectly cut, unnaturally, straight lines.
Several minutes I stood there. Speaking nearly the entire time. Time unbroken by traffic, or pedestrians. Not one of those many garages opened.
It was during a pause in the conversation I noticed all this. Was trying to assess the conversation. Discern what was not being said. Assess my desire. Discern the intentions. You stood there deflecting, masterfully, as so many women feel need, my questions. Yet there was something. In the eyebrows? The dipping of the shoulders to one side then next as if trying to decide which way to turn? Go to the pool? Return to the condo? But you stayed. Stood on the sidewalk. Dead on the centerline of that gutter. Six meters from where I stood. Something in the eyebrows…said…”This is the last I’ll see him.” Is that it?? Is that what they said? That’s certainly not what I want but, just as certainly, it isn’t what I’m speaking. Nor am I speaking at my depths.
So idyllic that if it appeared in film or on stage it would not be believed.
You standing there. Shimmering sidewalk. Perfectly rectilinear runnel of stunning white concrete. From your feet to mine and beyond. Bounded, surrounded by too black asphalt. Windows, garages unblinking. Not only motionless but utterly absent of even an indication that there are others about.
There you stand. Astoundingly gorgeous. A more perfect feminine geometry than this rigid rationalist feigns notice. But I noticed. Right away. That animal part of my brain, so easily dismissed, took notice of you the moment you first moved into my visual field. Normally, I just let those things rise. Unfed by my active conscious they dissipate quickly. Within milliseconds my analytic will seize upon some other detail. Launching me onto a trajectory of work, of song, of decision, conversation, of cerebral activity that is the comfort of my world.
Three years I worked with you. For half of that I was your boss. I stayed bound by the dictates of that relational confine. Took great comfort that I need only respond within its realm. Boss, worker. Even within those confines I noticed something else. A recognition. You, unrelenting, unavoidable, vocal, logical, rational. With the service of rhetoric demanding action contrary to standards. Leaving me unable to answer. Obstreperous. Impossible to dismiss. Justifiably so. All so astonishingly beautiful.
I am no longer your, nor anyone’s, boss. The irrationality, the impossibility, the ill-advise have all advanced upon me in my freedom. I have no boundary within which to define limits. Limits of how I should respond to you.
There you stand. Gorgeous. Seconds ticking by. So, I finish the conversation. Saying none of what I’m thinking, feeling. Infused with the colors of love, admiration, desire, to be the platform on which you can stand.
The pragmatic won that moment. I said goodbye. Turned and departed. Walked right up that too white path. Still wondering “What was in those eyebrows? Those shoulders?”
I have left so many people behind with my traveling, my moving, my changing jobs. That arc was disrupted some few years ago. I’ve moved only once, changed as little as possible, since then. This week I travel back to that place I left. I shall visit, hug, kiss those that I left behind. Glad to reconnect. I shall just stand, staring, smiling at them. Enjoy a new found purity of silence after the Silver Iterance.
And since I am going and I need a place to work my hands, my feet, I thought, then I should look. See if I can arrange an interview. See if there are interesting things about.
Each time I found an advertised position of interest the excitement was quickly followed on by dread. Often causing me to just ignore a good opportunity. Then I came upon something quite ideal. Even have friends connected. Glee, excitement. Then nausea.
Why? As soon as I reached to examine the nausea my hand was stayed.
You standing there on that shimmering sidewalk. Gorgeous and not your usual obstreperous self. I standing there, chattering, wanting to uplift. Not wanting to ever leave. Faced stark with the absurdity, impossibility of building a life with you. Expansive chest, acid belly all at once.
I love you.
That I know.
I have never understood less.
But where and what now? More impenetrable than that too black asphalt.
Actually occurred; technically nonfiction. Wrote it that night because I was unable to sleep. Haunted by images. Had to write these images out to free myself.