Sunday, March 15, 2009


Every Vendredi she and I would meet up and do the usual. It’d generally be after a long day of work when both of us needed a way to relax and release a bit of the stress. She’d say a few words to me, I’d pretend I understood her by muttering a few things under my breath, her face would light up and beam with delight, then I’d return the favor by throwing out a couple of my own lines. It was a back and forth effort that sometimes hit odd spots, good spots, hot spots and every other spot in between. We conquered a lot of territory in whatever span of time we had together. By the end though, I usually just wanted to head toward home. Seemed right to end the night where I felt a bit safe.

The schedule was pretty routine - but so were my meal times.

One night we went drinking near a bosky fix she had planned out. We sipped on spirits and looked up above. I recall the stars that night weren’t really there at all – instead all I saw was an empty expanse of jet-black space. She asked if I could point out my favorite part of the late night sky. I sat there, befuddled, wanting to scratch my head and give her an ugly twist of the neck and shuffle of the eyebrow.

For awhile we shared our own sort of expansive distance between us. I took two or three more sips from my bottle until I came up with an answer. I turned my body by pushing my clammy palms into the damp earth that had begun seeping through the trashy blanket she had brought along. My foot slipped in the sludgy mud as I settled myself in. The blanket rumpled at the end; now covered in a mélange of dirt, torn sod and a few dead twigs.

“Orion’s Belt,” I stammered.

She returned an equally puzzled expression in response - similar to the one I had displayed earlier.

But hers turned to contentment. And then melancholy. Suddenly tears began streaming down her face and over her soft, milky skin. She sniffled once, and then twice, before she could hold it in no longer. Before I could ask “What’s wrong?” she was sobbing uncontrollably.

When she was finally able to extract a few words in-between her convulsive movements, I heard what I thought was a smothered “Me too.” I couldn’t tell for sure what she had said, but I leaned over and wrapped my arms around her willowy body. I could feel her ribs tremble against my forearms as she nestled her head in my chest. Her hair spilled over me with a kind, pilose caress. The scent of the shower she had taken just hours ago - still fresh in her delicate locks - filled my nostrils with a warm tranquility.

I pushed the bottle I had been cradling so affectionately that night somewhere into the grassy darkness. I realized at that moment I had something else to care for besides myself. I felt at ease with her held within my arms.

As she fell deeper into her state of being, my eyes wandered back up to take a second look. I squinted slightly so that I could focus on a fixed spot in the sky. Though it still seemed jet-black, I felt as though it was becoming a little more in focus.

No comments: