Saturday, June 14, 2003
Your fingers were gently locked into mine as we walked further uptown along Park Avenue from Union Square. We had left your apartment in the Village just a little while ago and already we were both extremely hungry. So we ate at Pete's Tavern, which was kind of dark and filled with college students who had to be younger than my by at least five or so years, but you said it was one of your favourite places, so this was where we ate. People had filed past the tavern in droves, but I couldn't see a single soul. When I was with you, every space seemed empty, and it felt as if we were the only two people on Earth, able to do whatever we wanted, without any constraints.
The sun was shining brightly, but it was still brisk for a mid July day. You were squinting from the sunlight, and kept refusing to take your sunglasses back. After sliding them onto my face you stated, "They look better on you anyway," as you took a step back. I often wondered what you saw when you looked into my eyes; if you could see your own reflection in my glassy expression, or you finally found the answer to a question that your heart has asked several times, and just never found.
We only walked up Park because you liked to window shop. I was never really a fan of the more "feminine" activities like shopping, but what I did enjoy was being with you, seeing you smile. We paused in front of the large window in the Banana Republic storefront, you stood behind me with your arms wrapped around me, unconsciously rocking back and forth.
"What're you...that pea coat? That would look hot on you."
"You think so?" You tucked my shoulder underneath your chin and leaned your head against mine.
"Yeah, I do. Is...that what you were looking at?" You shook your head once. "Oh. So what're you..."
"Us." I could see our reflection in the glass, weaving in and out of the reflections of passers by. The smile on your face was so big it must've been painful. I went to say something, but before I could open my mouth you placed a finger over my lips. "Shhh. Don't...say anything."
"Why," I could only whisper in return.
"Words will only ruin the moment."
We stood there, virtually motionless, for what seemed like forever, but in reality was too long. The practical part of my brain was telling me that I had to go. If I didn't, I'd never leave. //I don't want to leave.// And I knew even though the trip would be short, that I had to. //But you have to, you know it.// Clouds started to roll in, and as the sun went behind a cloud, you let out a sigh. "Guess nothing can stay perfect forever, huh."
I let out a sigh as well. "Yeah. Guess not. I mean..." Once again you locked your fingers into mine, and slowly started walking north. I wanted to say something, but had no idea what to say. You were right - you were always right - and nothing perfect ever lasts, but I knew there had to be a way to make this last a little longer...
Standing in the warmer than usual main concourse of Penn Station, I just wanted to cry. This was all I?ve ever wanted, I've seriously never been happier than I have been these past few weeks. They've flown by so quickly, I can remember the instance I got into the city...
As the airplane pulled to a stop, my heart started to swell. I told him when I was getting in and what airline. I decided not to give him the flight number - he tells me that takes away from the hunt - so I knew he'd have to get there earlier than normal, if he decided to show up at all. I leaned my head against the chilly double-plated glass, and sighed heavily. All the way in from Toronto I was sitting next to this kid, couldn't have been more than 15, telling me that this was his birthday present, and he was going to meet his brother at the airport, and he'd never ever been out of Canada, let alone to a big city like New York. The flight from Pearson to Kennedy had only been an hour and change but it felt like forever because this kid was bouncing off the walls and all I wanted was to see his face, see his electric blue eyes, see his brilliant smile.
But he wasn't going to be there. Why should he be? We've only been together for close to three months, and even though this whole arrangement bothers me - me being in a completely different country - I had no idea if it bothered him.
My stomach was in knots as my legs barely brought me through customs. I didn't have any luggage, which made it very easy to get right through. I had gotten more and more nervous, as I kept looking down at my cell phone to see if he was trying to call me. All I saw was the time scrolling slowly across the screen.
So I made my way to the baggage claim, and there he was, glancing at the arrivals boars and his watch simultaneously. A bright smile crawled across my face, as I crept up behind him. "Whatcha looking for?" I asked, startling him. His eyes lit up and he threw his arms tightly around me, picked me up and spun me around.
"Oh my God am I glad to see you," he whispered, kissing me all over my face and neck.
He finally put me down, but kept his arms around me, and nodded. "And I'm not letting go."
"Hey sweetie?" You waved your hand in front of my face, grabbing my attention. "Hey. Where'd you go?"
"Somewhere...somewhere I'd really like to be."
You folded your arms. "Oh? And, where would that be?"
I sniffled, choking back a tear. "At the beginning. The beginning of all of this." You enveloped me in your arms, hugging my tightly. "I really don't want to go."
You pushed back, held my shoulders, and stared deeply into my eyes. "Sasha, listen to me. You have to go. You need to go because this trip will be good for you, okay? You need to get out and explore. But what I want you to remember is that, whenever you're finished exploring, I'll be here waiting for you, alright? I..." I briefly turned away to bat a tear out of my eyes. "Hey, look at me. Okay?"
I started scanning your speech for hints of this all being a lie, but I couldn't find anything. You were telling me the honest truth. But what exactly was it that you saw in me? No one ever cared about me enough to tell me the truth, my own family included. It's not that nobody ever cared about me, it's just that...I really, in my heart of hearts, don't think that anyone has ever loved me enough not to lie to me.
So I nodded in response. "You, you promise?" I choken on my own words. You didn't say anything; you really didn?t need to. Instead you slid your arms around me and held me tightly. "Be, because I, I am coming back. I swear. And just for you. There's nothing else here for me, just you." I knew you were smiling, but I didn't know you were crying until I felt your tears hit my shoulder. "What, what're you...are you crying?"
"Yes I'm crying!"
You just hugged me tighter. "I already miss you. I'm looking forward to checking my mailbox for postcards from you from wherever you are on that given day. I'm looking forward to looking at all of the pictures you're going to take and the road trip movie you're going to make." You took a deep breath, pushed the hair away from my face, and kissed my forehead. "I'm looking forward to holding you again."
I could no longer hold back my tears, not just because I was going to miss you with all my heart, but because you were going to miss me just as bad. You really do care about me, and that notion made my whole body warm with delight. It was then that we both hear the boarding call for my train.
You placed your lips against mine, lingering just long enough to run your tongue along my bottom lip. "Go." I tucked my fingers up into your short-cropped hair and kissed you back, memorizing the taste of your mouth. "Go. I'll be right here."
So I went, tears clouding my eyes as I waved goodbye, disappearing underground where my train waiting to take me away from you. But I wasn't crying anymore; I knew that, no matter where this trip took me, no matter how lost I will undoubtedly get, I will always know that you're here waiting for me.
You'll always be right here.
posted by Amanda L. on 1:44 PM
Saturday, June 07, 2003
"I've got this feeling I've been here before.
There's this guy eating a sandwich on the top floor of a parking garage. He has a rifle. The sandwich has ham, lots of mayo, no lettuc. He finishes the sandwich and swallows the remains of a milk. He picks up the rifle, still chewing. Below him there are a hundred people with featureless faces. A little red light dances from person-to-person, unnoticed. He breathes shallow. His palms are sweating. There's sweat running into his eyes from his forehead. Lightning flashes, the air stops, somebody drops. Somebody starts screaming. Somebody drops. Thunderclaps fly around like giant fist hitting the buildings, hitting the cars. Somebody drops. Sirens pop up in the distance.
There's just an empty brown paper bag, an empty ziplock bad, some crumbs, an empty milk. The last supper. People are starting to run into shops and office buildings. Somebody drops. Empty clip. Reload. The sirens are close. Someone is pointing up. Somebody drops. The mayonnaise was good. It was Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip is so much better than traditional mayo. Somebody Drops. The little red light dances. People are looking out windows across the street, pointing. A window breaks. Somebody Drops. The police cars screech to a stop down on the street. People are point up. They get out of their cars. Somebody drops.
There's a picture he keeps in his wallet. He takes it out. Someone he loves-- the wife and kids-- salvation. All those years of salvation. The red light dances. All those years moving towards something always so far away. Somebody drops. There's a picture in his wallet with one less person. It doesn't taste like Miracle Whip. Wait for it. Breathe. Somebody drops.
Tomorrow everything will be the same as it was yesterday. Today is just another two minutes on the news. The picture, salvation, they won't bring that up. There's a million different ways to say I love you. It's choosing the right one that's the problem. There's a million different ways to lose sight of the fact that eventually everything is comparable to a bad dream. Club Med is one. What are the others??"
yeah. that's.... wow. and needed to be posted.
posted by Amanda L. on 3:01 PM