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Tuesday, November 01, 2005 


Cold front porch, knees together, studying the curve your ankle makes from the height of your heel. Black shoes, black tights, there is something decidedly feminine about you from this angle. Lean head forward, tilt to side, rest cheek on knees and sigh. You know that feeling inside? That scary one that makes your stomach drop at the thought of the future?

What? He’s sitting beside you, staring at stars, and maybe he’s thinking about you. But most likely he’s not. Most likely he’s slightly irritated by your presence, calculating the things he could be doing, but isn’t. Time with you wasted.

It’s like, your whole life you’re waiting for the big bad future to appear. People say ‘Do this’, they egg you on, say you’re good enough, and part of you agrees. But the other part is busy fucking everything up, because you have no idea what you want, or who you are, all you have is other people telling you what to do echoing in your head. And what if, what if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? So you fail before you even get out the door. Always stalling, looking for the exit sign, the emergency hatch. But you’re afraid that if you say, ‘I don’t want the life you mapped out for me’ people will see all your weaknesses. All your failures. And… and what if you let go of their dreams and find you have none of your own? What then? Sit up. Sigh. Put your hands behind your back and look up at the sky. Try to see what he sees.

But he’s looking at you now, studying your face, the curve of your nose. What are you trying to say?

You forgot. Women map out the problem but men solve. Your deluge of words are jumping on his nerves, making a circus out of his patience. All my life the future has scared me and now. Look down, think, streamline your words to his rhythm. I think I finally know what I want.

He lights a cigarette, inhales, exhales slowly. Maybe he’s contemplating the folly of continuing this conversation, maybe he’s just guessing at the time, you don’t know, but you wish you did. So what do you want?

Lay down until your back touches the cool damp porch, let the cement steal your heat through the thin cotton of your shirt, and feel how your whole heart has opened up until it’s as big as the sky. It’s a miracle that your body isn’t shaking; that your mind is at ease. You are not a person that finds rest calming. You want to tell him about this, spread your feeling of certainty, but would he understand it? Does he see the million miracles occurring in front of him everyday? Years from now, will he remember this? You want to reach up and open his eyes to joy but you don’t know if you can so all you say is Everything. And it scares you, this word, ‘everything’. Because you want it to infect him. You want him to see the future as limitless, his hopes as possible. You want for his dreams to come true and his smiles to come easy. So you ask for a cigarette, announce it’s time to go home, drive down unlit backroads, and when you get home you kill the engine and turn the radio up too loud. Who knew happiness was this hard?